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Why shouldn't citizens of India 'deserve to be treated' judiciously by the judiciary?

By Pannalal Surana*
On October 1, 2019 last, the Supreme Court declined to pass interim order to maintain Status Quo about reorganization of the State of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K). The petitions challenged the validity of procedure adopted by the Central government in getting legislation about deleting two clauses of the Article 370.
The petitions also challenged the reorganization of the state bifurcating it into two parts and downgrading them, as also about restrictions imposed on the people and, particularly the media, were submitted in the third week of August, but were not taken up immediately on the specious plea that the authorities should be given time to deal with the extraordinary situation.
Right to freedom of speech and expression are not only guaranteed by the Constitution but also need to be exercised as and when something wrong was being committed by the authorities and hence the Court should help the citizens , instead of the authorities in times of crisis.
A wrong can be averted by discussion while there is time to correct .But the apex court thought otherwise. All those petitions were taken up after the gap of about two months. Not commendable.
When the petitioners reminded the Supreme Court about its decision in the 1975 Additional District Magistrate, Jabalpur case, the apex court said, “There has to be a balance between personal liberty of a person and national security.”
It is surprising to see that the apex court looked at the subject matter of the petitions as personal matter and they preferred to accord more importance to the doings of the Central government as dealing with national security. How was the national security endangered?
Pakistan’s threatening language has become a routine matter. There could be no action perpetrated by any other outside party, while state of J&K was bifurcated and demoted thereby abrogating many rights of the citizens of the state.
Reminded of its decision in a 1975 case, the apex court said: There has to be a balance between personal liberty of a person and national security
The apex court should have given importance to the matter of citizens’ rights being abnegated by the authorities. One feels sorry about the apex court not doing its duty to uphold fundamental rights of a person individually as also of all the present and future generations of J&K citizens.
The apex court undeservedly obliged the authorities by giving more than six weeks time to the Central government and the J&K administration to file their affidavits. Why so many days? In fact, the apex court should have presumed that as the authorities had taken such drastic actions, they should be possessing all the material ready for drafting the affidavits .Why delay the matters? Not fair.
Many persons in the position of responsibility have lauded the performance of the three layers of UK courts in declaring the action of the Prime Minister of UK about suppressing the rights of the Parliament there as “unconstitutional" -- within 27 days.
Citizens of India do deserve to be treated judiciously by the judiciary. Let us hope that the Supreme Court of India will, in future, uphold the high traditions of protecting rights of the citizens from the repressive actions of the arrogant authorities.
---
*President, Socialist Party (India)

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