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I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi


I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi

i am not insulted ministers   kiran bedi

I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi

It is ironic that the capital of the largest democracy in the world has no place for public protest. One might not agree with Anna Hazare or like his mode of protest but the manner in which he has virtually been denied a right to sit for an indefinite fast protest against corruption cannot be justified in a democratic country like India.

The government may be right in claiming that it was its prerogative to draft or give a final shape to the Lokpal Bill but it will find it difficult to explain the use of its power to regulate protests to virtually stifle dissent being expressed in the form of a peaceful protest.

Since the proposed protest was against inaction on part of the executive, the government dealing with the group should clearly seem to be fair and reasonable.

Despite Anna having compromised on the venue for his much publicised ‘indefinite’ fast protest beginning today, the Delhi Police restricted the duration of his protest to three days at the ‘rear portion’ of the Jai Prakash Narayan Park on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg.

Incidentally, the Anna-led group had given up the Jantar Mantar site and had decided to settle for another venue after it was stressed that no ‘indefinite’ protest could be allowed at Jantar Mantar as many organisations would want to hold protest at the site as the monsoon session of Parliament was in progress.

The new venue was agreed to between the Anna camp and the police after the latter stated that such a long protest could not be allowed at Jantar Mantar in view of the need for equitable distribution of space for protests by various groups.

In a letter on August 16, the Delhi Police said it had ‘now been advised’ that the venue could not be allotted beyond ‘one or two days’ due to legal and administrative constraints. It would,

however, persuade the land owning agency to extend the period to three days. To add insult to injury, Anna, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi have been asked to sign an undertaking that they would ensure that “the gathering does not exceed 4000/ 5000 persons”. Apart from the fact that it would be beyond their control to predict the number of people unlike in political rallies where supporters are ferried to the venue, restricting the number of people to a maximum of 5,000 would amount to curtailing the rights of thousands of people who would like to voice their concern against corruption by going to the venue.

The right of people to visit the site to support the protest – which may be justified or unjustified – is independent of the right of Anna or his team.

With team Anna terming the restrictions as unconstitutional and gearing up to defy the Delhi Police diktats, Union minister Kapil Sibal quoted a Supreme Court judgment (1973 1 SCC 227) stating that “the right which flows from Art. 19(1)(b) is not a right to hold a meeting at any place and time”. Though Sibal stopped at this, the next line of the judgment stresses that the state can only impose ‘reasonable’ restrictions in the interest of public order.

“Freedom of assembly is an essential element of a democratic system. The basic assumption in a democratic polity is that government shall be based on the consent of the governed,” the Supreme Court has said in the judgment quoted by the minister.

It further stressed that free consent implied discussions and the right of citizens to “meet face to face with others for the discussion of their ideas and problems, and public streets are the ‘natural’ places for expression of opinion and dissemination of ideas.” On limiting the crowd, Sibal said it could have been more if he had opted for far off Burari as the venue for protest. If this argument is taken to be valid, one cannot explain the symbolic march of our first freedom fighters from Meerut to Delhi in 1857 and repeated ‘Delhi Chalo’ refrain by protesters across the country.

I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi

I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi

I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi

I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi
I Am Not Insulted Ministers Kiran Bedi

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