Arunabha Ghosh :-
Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik and three others have filed an application in the Supreme Court of india, challenging the arrest of five Rights Activists by the Pune police. The supreme court has directed that the accused should not be kept in the state prison but should be under house arrest. While passing such order, one of the members of the three judges bench, observed that “the decent” is the safety valve of the democracy, so if one doesn’t release the safety valve’s pressure, the cooker will burst.”
Question arose, whether the petition moved in the supreme court by Romila Thapar and others was maintainable as the persons arrested under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1972 (UAPA) could have themselves moved the appropriate Court as they are educated persons having enough resources to approach to the court without their cause being espoused by others.
Although the people at large have supported the views taken by the supreme court, but questions have been raised as why the same Pro- people stand was not taken by the supreme court with regard to the panchayat elections in West Bengal where more than one third of the total seats (nearing about 20000) was won by the ruling party in West Bengal as uncontested seats. In rest of the 66% seats, the elections were rigged by using the brutal force. For the last three years, all local elections held by the state election commissioner were rigged where opposition parties were neither allowed to submit nominations nor was the general public allowed to vote.
When to uphold democracy, the three judges bench in the case of five Rights Activists, has taken an active stand, it is not understood why the same bench has taken a different stand delegating the West Bengal Panchayat election case to the lower tribunals instead of protecting the democratic rights of the people of West Bengal by intervening directly with the democratic action taken by the West Bengal State election Commissioner.