Justice Santosh Hegde, one of the five members from Civil Society on the Lokpal drafting panel and the Lokayukta of Karnataka, has warned that the Government seems to be turning blind to issues of justice and injustice.
“People in power do not want anything being said against them. They want to make their seat permanent… You [Government] are forced to take recourses that are not contemplated or even prohibited by law because your love for the chair is such that you forget what is just and what is unjust,” he said, when asked about Government refusing permission to Anna Hazare to hold a fast in Jantar Mantar in Delhi.
“Suppressing te fundamental right of the people to speak and assemble and express their view for or against the Government’s policy borders on the draconian,” he added, in one of the harshest criticisms of the government to come from a retired judge.
He pointed out that the Government has shown no consistency in its dealings with the people and warned that there seems to be “many changes” in the Government’s attitude towards the people in the last one month.
“When Baba came, they treated him like a head of state.. then they misused police power and violated the fundamental rights of the people,” he pointed out, adding that the different explanations given for putting down the camp were also “funny.”
“First it was violation of the license.. It was for a Yoga camp, not fast etc.. Then they said law and order problem.. then they said possibility of terrorist attack.. then some said, Baba did not stick to his settlement with the Government..
“It was something very very brutal. You are suppressing the right. You should remember one thing — India got freedom from this type of movements only. That is why it is incorporated in the constitution,” Hegde said.
He also pointed out that Anna Hazare’s rallies have never turned violent — even when thousands of people gathered around him two months ago in Delhi.
“We have take into consideration the past that has happened,” he pointed out.
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