Facebook post by former Supreme Court judge and former Press Council of India Chairman Markandey Katju
Tamil Nadu Authorities are hereby warned.
” சுழன்றும்ஏர்ப் பின்னது உலகம் அதனால்
உழந்தும் உழவே தலை “
Everybody is dependent on the farmer—Tiruvalluvar
Tamil Nadu youth planned for demonstrations to show their support for the Tamil Nadu farmers, who are in deep distress due to drought, debt etc. Many have committed suicide and other Tamil Nadu farmers are sitting in Jantar Mantar, Delhi with their skulls.
The protest was planned in YMCA ground, Chennai on 31st March 2017 at 9 AM where farmers from all over Tamil Nadu were to assemble peacefully, and the YMCA ground in Chennai was booked for this purpose. But the Tamil Nadu police threatened the YMCA management and asked them to cancel the booking, so that the protest is withdrawn due to non availability of the place. Accordingly under such threat, the management of YMCA cancelled the booking.
Article 19 (1)(b) of the Indian Constitution states that all citizens have the right “To assemble peaceably and without arms”. Thus it is a fundamental right of a citizen of India to assemble peacefully and demonstrate, and no permission of any authority is required for this.
No doubt this right is subject to reasonable restrictions in the interest of public order in view of Article 19(3). However those who wanted to demonstrate in favor of farmers were not creating any disturbance of public order. They were all unarmed, they were not blocking any road or creating any incident which would have disturbed the public order.
I therefore fail to understand how the Tamilnadu police or the Tamil Nadu govt are preventing the Tamil youth from exercising their Constitutional right under Article 19 (1)(b).
India is a democracy and not a dictatorship. The Fundamental rights of the citizens have been guaranteed and enshrined in Part 3 of the Constitution.
In my opinion the Tamilnadu police and authorities are blatantly violating the Fundamental Rights of the Tamil youth, and hence are doing something grossly illegal, for which they will be held accountable, unless they immediately desist from such illegality.
I may mention that in the Nuremburg Trials held in Germany after the 2nd World War the accused Nazis took the plea that ‘orders are orders’. In other words , they took the plea that they were only carrying out the orders of their superior Hitler. However, this plea was rejected by the International Tribunal, and most of the Nazi accused criminals were ordered to be hanged.
I therefore give a warning to the TN police and authorities that unless they stop their blatant violation of Fundamental Rights of Tamilian youth of holding peaceful demonstrations they will be held accountable and given severe punishment under the appropriate law, and any plea that they were only obeying orders from their superiors will be rejected, as was done in the Nuremburg Trials.