M A I N   N E W S

Raj remarks dangerous: SC
Balkanisation of the country will not be allowed: Justice Katju
Legal Correspondent

New Delhi, February 22
The Supreme Court today decried Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Raj Thackeray for “instigating” workers of his party to attack North Indians living in the state and termed the emergence of such tendencies as “dangerous” for the country.

But the court expressed its inability to admit a petition against the outfit because the prayers raised in it were vague.

“We admit that these are dangerous tendencies but we cannot pass any direction on a petition they way it has been put,” a Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and Markandey Katju said.

Justice Katju was more critical of the MNS for systematically targeting North Indians in Mumbai and some places in Maharashtra and said “Balkanisation of the country will not be allowed”.

“We are one nation and the son of the soil theory is not acceptable,” Justice Katju observed.

Since advocate Arvind Shukla, who filed a PIL, had raised such prayers, for instance, he sought de-registration of the MNS, which purely fell within the jurisdiction of the Election Commission (EC), the court said the petition in the present form could not be entertained.

The CJI heading the Bench said that in the issue of maintenance of law and order, the court cannot issue a direction to the state directly.

“We cannot issue a direction to the EC to de-recognise a party. You have to approach the EC,” the CJI told Shukla.

As law and order is a state subject, the petitioner should approach the Maharashtra Government for compensation to those who had fallen victim to the MNS hooligans.

If the state government fails to address the victims’ demands, at the most, the next course could be to approach the Bombay High Court, the Bench said.

Consequently, Shukla withdrew the PIL which also sought appropriate action against Raj Thackeray and the MNS.

Shukla said that the remarks of Thackeray against North Indians amounted to dividing the nation on “racial and regional” lines and posed a grave threat to its integrity.

If such “divisive” tendencies were not immediately curbed, they would lead to a serious law and problem and even riots pitching people of one region against the other, the petition said.

It said that the Constitution provides every citizen right to move, reside and work in any part of the country without hindrance. Any attack on the people migrating to a state from another would amount to violation of their Fundamental Rights.



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