Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Tag: Supreme Court

Supreme Court and prostitution

On 9 December 2009 the Supreme Court asked the Centre about legalising the prostitution.
“When you say it is the world’s oldest profession and when you are not able to curb it by laws, why don’t you legalise it? You can then monitor the trade, rehabilitate and provide of medical aid to those involved in the trade.
They have been operating in one way or the other and nowhere in the world have they been able to curb it by legislation. In some cases, they are carried out in a sophisticated manner. So why don’t you legalise it?” Justice Dalveer Bhandari and Justice A. K. Patnaik asked Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam. Gopal Subramaniam said he would look into it.
Legalisation of a crime because it can not be curbed by law is wrong. Many crimes take place. If the principle is extended it means murder, rape, kidnapping, abduction, drug trafficking, human trafficking, stealing, cheating, forgery and every other crime has to be legalised. Better implementation of the law is the answer. Passing a law or existence of a law is inadequate to curb a crime. In case of prostitution women are punished, men are not punished. If men who go to prostitutes are punished prostitution will come down.
Punishment for prostitution has to be 10 years imprisonment minimum. When both men and women guilty of prostitution spend at least 10 years in jail prostitution will disappear. For immoral trafficking there should be death penalty.
If criminals get sophisticated law enforcers also should get sophisticated. Throwing up hands in despair is not the answer.

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Bandhs are bad

Kerala High Court in 1997 rightly declared that bandhs are unconstitutional and the Supreme Court upheld the decision of  Kerala High Court.  Whether the decision was one paragraph or ten pages is immaterial. 

Bombay High Court fined BJP and Shiv Sena Rs.20 lakhs each for calling a bandh.  After that they did not call for a bandh though there was one unofficial bandh by Shiv Sena in July 2006. 

No democracy has any duty to encourage protest in all its forms.  Protest is allowed subject to reasonable restrictions.  Bandhs violate fundamental, constitutional and natural rights.  Anything that goes against the rights of people can be forbidden by the Supreme Court. There is no need for a law.  Right cases give rise to right laws leading to rule of law.   

Bandhs are different from strikes.  In a strike people stop working.  In a bandh other people are prevented from working, travelling, keeping schools, colleges, shops, theatres etc open.  Bandhs are successful only if there is violence or fear of violence.  Bandhs cannot be tolerated in a democracy.  Where bands disrupt normal life it is mobocracy.    

People have lost their lives due to bandhs.  One person had appendicitis.  He could not go to a doctor as he could not get a taxi due to bandh and died.  Jackie Shroff lost his mother due to a bandh.  Shiv Sena had called the bandh.  Due to that Jackie Shroff could not take his mother to doctor immediately.  He knew Raj Thackeray who at that time was in Shiv Sena.  This helped Jackie Shroff to take his mother to doctor but she died.  There are many cases like that which go unreported. 

People who have to travel long distance book their tickets in advance.  They have to travel on a particular day. When there is bandh their inconvenience is great.  They are unable to reach bus stations, railway stations and airports.  It is difficult to get tickets for the next day.  Some miss important events in the family. 

DMK’s calling for bandh was wrong for two reasons.  First, bandhs are wrong.  Second, DMK rules Tamil Nadu and part of UPA which rules Centre.  Its duty was to maintain law and order.  Bandhs are against law and order.  Against whom was DMK’s protest?  If it is not happy with UPA it should quit UPA.  The chief minister should be in his office and should not abdicate his responsibility by sitting on hunger strike. 

If there is constitutional breakdown the Supreme Court has a duty to say so.  It cannot be a mute spectator. 

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Reservations

Right is right even though nobody is right. Wrong is wrong even though everybody is wrong.

If Parliament passes a law that is unjust it does not become right.

In Delhi and many other cities students had opposed reservations. It is likely that in future political parties opposed to reservations will come up.

Karunanidhi has come out against the Supreme Court in the matter of OBC reservations in IIMs and IITs saying three people cannot decide about one billion people. He has threatened agitations.

It is the responsibility of the State Government to maintain law and order. As head of the Government if he does not maintain law and order he abdicates his responsibility. It is wrong for anyone to declare bandh, more so for a Government meant to maintain law and order.

If Karunanidhi can go against the judiciary, so can others. The judgment of Cauvery Waters Tribunal will not be honoured by Karnataka. If Tamilians are discriminated against in Karnataka, the directions of judiciary against discrimination will not be honoured.

Karunanidhi is opposed to Hindi being the sole official language of India even though majority was in favour of it. He said that in that case crow which is ubiquitous be made the national bird instead of peacock.

Backward reservations have kept Tamil Nadu backward. If the population growth rate is low compared to many other states it is because many Tamilians have migrated to other states.

Arjun Singh needs to be sacked. His attempts to dislodge Narasimha Rao failed and he had to leave the party. Manmohan Singh was close to Narasimha Rao. He knows what to do with Arjun Singh but he is not the party president.

If people in favour of reservations come to streets, people opposed to reservations can also come to streets.

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