For Immediate Release Date: 18th June, 2011
CM’s statement based on misinterpretation and misleading by the nexus
Withdrawal of enquiry committees is a breach of people’s trust in the State
Fast is the ultimate weapon in a democratic, non-violent protest
The Government of Maharashtra has begun to betray the People’s Movements against the builder-politician-officials nexus in Mumbai which reached its peak during the fast by Medha Patkar and others in Golibar-Khar in May 2011.
In the petition filed by the builders including Shivalik Ventures during the hearing of June 17, Justice Chandrachud made an oral statement saying that “Now there need be no more hunger strikes. Now let the democratic process and system work.” This was neither an issue before the court or part of the petition nor was it part of any pleadings. Hence, Advocate Mihir Desai appearing for Medha Patkar said “This may be your viewpoint but it is certainly not mine.” Justice Chandrachud also added, “We know that Mihir Desai is appearing for a senior social activist whose work has compelled the State Government to take cognizance of many issues which it wouldn’t have.”
We, the People’s Movements, believe that the democratic system of this country has become corrupt and brutal with self-indulging vested interests in power, due to which not only are the fundamental rights of the people violated day in and day out, but grave problems faced by the people not resolved in spite of long persevering processes of complaints and dialogue within the democratic framework.
It is this critical situation that the people in struggle who continue to walk on the path of peaceful resistance and face State violence have to remain determined and committed by resorting to fasting as the ultimate weapon. The fast is not an undemocratic measure but is part of the democratic struggle as is proved in not one but many movements throughout the freedom struggle and thereafter.We are not those ones who take to such battles staking life itself time and again or as black-mailing tactics, but rather it is seen as an appeal to the conscience of oneself, the society and the State. Had the democratic system as well as process in this country been honest and just and truly participatory, there would have been no need to resort to fasting as a means to wage battle.
The game that the State has played by repealing the official resolutions during the fast is itself indicative of how the so-called democratic powers cheat and betray the common people fighting for their survival. The very system is increasingly getting distanced from the people specially the disadvantaged sections of society and hence proving to be incompetent in redressing their grievances. It is the People’s Movements with the support of civil society at large, that is today rising and awakening through agitations as Satyagraha(insistence on truth) that are proving to be a challenge to these perversions and deviations in this system, which the builders and politicians feel threatened by. Hence, they are engaged in not just legal means but also a campaign of falsehood and physical attacks.
Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan and National Alliance of People’s Movements are ready to take up the challenge and are determined to expose the nexus at the root of unprecedented land grab to corruption and irregularities of all kinds.
The State government of Maharashtra also made a clear statement yesterday before the same bench that is indicative of the fact that the government has come under pressure and influence of the builders’ lobby that is totally disturbed with the decision to merely enquire into their frauds exposed by the people and people’s movements.
The intention expressed by the Government Pleader Advocate Mattos before the High Court bench indicated that the government would repeal the Government Resolutions (GRs) to form two enquiry committees dated 28th of May within next two weeks and thereby file an affidavit. The corrigendum that it is expected to issue will transfer the duties of the two committees to a High Power Committee formed earlier. It is the contention of the Movement that it is correct to conclude that the two resolutions stand applicable till then and no eviction could be permitted till the reports of the enquiries are produced before the State as stated in the GR related to Ganesh Krupa Society of Golibar-Khar.
On the categorical question placed before the bench by Advocate Mihir Desai, Justice Chandrachud explained that the bench had neither accepted nor rejected the State’s decision and not adjudicated on the issue at all. It is therefore upto the State to rethink its own dishonest reversal and not repeal the two committees but claim and assert its prerogative to constitute any such fact-finding bodies as also to seek recommendations based on investigation by a joint committee inclusive of representatives of people’s movements.
The Chief Minister’s statement claiming the decision to revoke the committees was made after the High Court indicated that it would initiate contempt proceedings against the State for forming the committees. This indicated reason is entirely baseless since on the constitution of the two enquiry committees, the High Court bench in its interim order dated 9 June 2011 has only asked the Government to consider the matter, especially the issue of the constituent members being biased, not raised by anyone else but the builder Shivalik Ventures and the petitioners – former promoter and office bearers of Ganesh Krupa Co-operative Housing Society. It is worth noting that 3 of the 6 petitioners are accused in the criminal case filed by the residents of Ganesh Krupa Co-operative Housing Society, in which the High Court has ordered investigation not carried out in due period of time according to law.
The Chief Minister’s statement thus, is a result of either ignorance or misinterpretation or misleading by the builder-official nexus.
Santosh Daundkar Madhuresh Kumar Faiza Prerna Gaikwad
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