The strange handling of the demolition campaign by the Delhi Municipal Corporation

By Sushil Kutty

It was a setback for the narrow-minded right and a victory for the liberal left, for the opposition parties and for the anti-Modi, of which there are legions. But when the Supreme Court order took its own time reaching the defendants in this age of instant information, it turned out to be a defeat for the highest court, the Supreme Court of India!

The campaign against the MCD invasion in the communal cauldron called Jahangirpuri, where suspected Bangladeshi and Rohingya illegals have been housed, should have stopped the moment the Supreme Court ordered a halt to the demolition campaign following the intervention of prominent lawyers in favor of alleged illegal aliens.

Now, the case will be heard on April 21 and it will be interesting to see on what basis the highest court will grant permanent relief to the alleged illegals who had allegedly taken over public roads to build shops and offices. Will the high court succeed in finding cracks in the armor of the seemingly legal campaign against the invasion of the civic body?

It cannot be denied that invasions of public roads are illegal acts. Such activities cannot enjoy the patronage of the legislature, the executive, or the judiciary. In this case, the MCD troops at ground zero refused to stop the anti-invasion campaign and continued to raze the illegal constructions on public roads, from “Jumos Rincones” to “Reparaciones Móviles”, without even sparing the “businesses”. illegal” on public roads. “Jama Masjid Complex”.

Social media posts alluded to a “final showdown” between the executive branch and the judiciary, with the right wing applauding Union Home Minister Amit Shah for his tough stance. The left held him responsible for all the bad things in India. At 12 noon, a major TV outlet reported on the demolition of the “gate of Jahangirpuri Jama Masjid, its porch and one of its gates”.

Rival TV channels reported on this unprecedented “breaking news wisdom,” by all accounts. Some channels spoke of how a “place of worship” was put to the test on the altar of political expediency. Others vomited in exultation, managing not to find fault with the Supreme Court.

In fact, the Supreme Court could not have expected the MCD to riot, basically bureaucrats with appointments that are generally prone to buckling under pressure. It’s like the bulldozer worked its way up to their sub-56-inch chests. At 12:13, Brinda Karat, a top CPM leader, was on site to ensure the SC’s suspension order was followed.

Karat stood in front of a bulldozer and stated that the bulldozer was doing little to respect the Supreme Court order. And, when he said this, she was completely in order. The police did not prevent him from saying what he thought. But some of the locals who were distraught over the civic body’s actions were arrested for “trying to instigate and rouse spirits”.

By then, the petitioners’ lawyers were back in the high court, protesting, angry that the high court order found no interest in the civic body. Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s words a couple of days ago to the police to do something unprecedented, which must be long remembered, seemed to be the driving force behind the MCD’s newfound courage.

At 12:30 pm, the SC had to reiterate its suspension order, and the SC Registry was told to advise the MCD that an SC order cannot be violated. By this time, a “mazaar” encroaching on a thoroughfare in war-torn Jahangirpuri lay in ruins, and police had to order a lathi charge on protesting women.

A while later, the police said that the demolition had stopped. It was probably the first time the Supreme Court had to remind the executive that the judiciary reigns supreme. For the hoi polloi this was a revelation, particularly on this day. Would the Supreme Court punish bureaucrats for not blindly following an order from the Supreme Court of India?

Millions upon millions of litigants must have been angry and disappointed since Independence Day over a Supreme Court order, but did they refuse to follow high court orders unless and until they were given them in writing?

After all, a suspension in an ongoing anti-invasion campaign is not the same as an inmate ordered out on bail, whose release requires a written copy of the order. The MCD had no right to sit in on the SC’s trial, forget the fact that the trespasses were illegal. Nothing can be above an order of the Supreme Court. Period.

Will the high court order action against civic officials? Otherwise, people will stop respecting the judiciary. If the highest court in the land can be dismissed with a shrug, how will the courts lower down the line fare?

Think of all the people in Jahangirpuri whose livelihood has been affected by the measures taken against them. Above all, why is the undemocratic bulldozer given freedom? As lead attorney Dushyant Dave told the high court: “We are a democratic society and (yet) they didn’t stop the demolitions.” (IPA service)

The Queer Handling Of Demolition Drive by Municipal Corporation Of Delhi post first appeared on IPA Newspack.

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