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The Hindu on indiaserver.com : Lawyers move SC seeking action against NBA activists

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Friday, December 15, 2000


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Lawyers move SC seeking action against NBA activists

By Our Legal Correspondent

NEW DELHI, DEC. 14. A group of lawyers today moved the Supreme Court pleading for initiation of action against the `Narmada Bachao Andolan' (NBA) leader, Ms. Medha Patkar, the Booker Prize winner, Ms. Arundati Roy, and others for staging a demonstration outside the Apex Court gate on Wednesday to protest against the judgment in the Sardar Sarovar dam project case.

Describing the agitation by nearly 300 NBA activists as a blitzkrieg against the judiciary, the lawyers prayed for appropriate action against the demonstrators to save the dignity and integrity of the highest judicial institution in the country. (Due to the agitation, the main gate of the Apex Court had to be closed for most part of the day on Wednesday).

The petitioner-advocates, Mr. Umed Singh Gulia, Mr. R.K. Virmani, Mr. K.L. Vohra, Mr. H.S. Chaudhary and Mr. J.R. Prashar, alleged that on December 13 there was a big crowd outside the Supreme Court led by Ms. Medha Patkar, Ms.Arundati Roy and Mr. Prashant Bhushan, advocate and slogans were raised against the Chief Justice of India, Dr. A.S. Anand.

They said that by indulging in demonstration outside the court, the NBA leaders and activists had set a dangerous example for others to follow and mar the reputation of the Supreme Court and that the repercussions of this agitation would be deadly to the whole judiciary.

The petitioners said the Government should wake up immediately and contain this type of agitation which was intended to put the judiciary in bad light. They alleged that this was solely aimed at short-term gains as the agitators were being exploited by some interested politicians and this had led to a serious situation.

Expressing their anguish, they said the agitation and dharna before the Apex Court entrance and a virulent and continuous propaganda of raising slogans against the judiciary were not only intended to create an atmosphere of demeaning self- condemnation in society but also to bully them. The petitioners addressed a similar application to the Solicitor General of India, Mr. Harish Salve.

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