SC restrains TN govt from organising bandh

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New Delhi, Sep 30: The Supreme Court today restrained the DMK-led government in Tamil Nadu from going ahead with its party-sponsored state-wide bandh scheduled for tomorrow, demanding speedy completion of the Sethusamudram project.

A bench, comprising Justices B N Aggarwal and P P Naolekar, in a special sitting today said '' The rights of the public are superior to the rights of political parties. We can not tolerate such type of activities by political parties.'' The ruling was seen as a major setback to the DMK-led Karunanidhi government.

The AIADMK headed by former state Chief Minister J Jayalalitha had moved the apex court yesterday challenging Madras High Court order dated September 28, 2007, which had refused to restrain the ruling party sponsored bandh which was also backed by DMK allies like Congress, Left parties, PMK and others.

The Superme Court in its interim order today directed that there shall be no bandh called by any political parties over the issue till the final disposal of writ petition pending before this court.

AIADMK in its petition had contended that the bandh called given by the ruling party in the state is illegal and unconstitutional as it is the duty of the state government being run by DMK to protect the life and properties of the people of Tamil Nadu and hence the ruling party can not endanger the safety and security of the people of the state by giving calls which have the potential of leading to large scale violence in the state.

The main Opposition party in the state in its petition also contended that impugned High Court order is erroneous in view of the direction of the Superme Court not to damage the 35 KM long Ram Sethu in any manner while continuing with the dredging activities to complete Samudram Sethu project.

DMK supremo M Karunanidhi has been opposing the directions of the Superme Court and has also made deregatory remarks about lord Rama calling him a drunkard.

The Superme Court's order said that the High Court has itself said that it was not a strike but a total bandh which is likey to disrupt the normal life in the state on October 1, 2007.

The High Court in its order had directed the State Chief Secretary and DGP of the state police to maintain law and order and also to ensure that no inconvenience is caused to the people during the DMK sponsored bandh.

The High Court had also directed that no essential service like hospitals, water, electricity, communication and public transport shall be disrupted and will remain exempt from the bandh.

The Superme Court disapproved the approach of High Court in the matter holding that in view of the interim order passed by it in the matter should have banned the proposed bandh as the matter is already subjudice before the highest court of the land.

During the three hour long arguments on the petition the court declared the DMK resolution passed on September 24, as illegal and quashed the same holding that this resolution shall not be given effect to either on October 1 or on any oher day.

In the High Court AIAMDMK and former Union Minister Dr Subramanian Swami had filed petiteion against the state sponsored bandh.

The Superme Court has fixed for hearing in January next year the batch of petitions seeking declaration from the court that Ram Sethu is a monument of national heritage and should not be demolished at all.

DMK has been questioning the existence of Lord Rama.The Union goverment and Archaeological Survey of India(ASI) had in their contorversial affidavit which was subsequently withdrawn under tremendous public pressure, had said that there was no scientific and documentry eveidence to show that lord Rama, characters and events mentioned in the Ramayana ever occured and the Ram Sethu was not a human-made formation.

Millions of Hindus accross the globe however believe that Ram Sethu was built by Lord Rama with the help of Hanuman's Vanarsena to reach Sri Lanka to free his wife Sita from the captivity of demon king Ravana.


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