Saturday, September 4, 2010

YFJ Letter to Chief Justice of India

4th Sept. 2010


Hon'ble Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia

Chief Justice of India

Supreme Court of India

New Delhi

Sub.- Request to take notice of unconstitutional plan by Delhi Traffic Police to impose Section 144 during CWG 2010

Dear Mr. Chief Justice

I am writing this to draw your kind attention this proposal of Delhi Traffic Police. Imposing Section 144 CrPC is unreasonable, unjustified and a disproportionate use of a provision that has been provided in the criminal justice system to deal with emergency/urgent situations like riots and arson.

Some recent media report indicates that in order to prevent the general commuters from infringing the dedicated lanes, Delhi Traffic Police is preparing to impose Section 144 Criminal Procedure Code, 1973 (CrPC) on the demarcated areas for the duration of the Commonwealth Games (CWG 2010). This according to them is to ensure uninterrupted movement of the officials and athletes during the Games. Another news report subsequently makes no mention of Sec 144 CrPC.

Action under this section is anticipatory, imposed generally in cases of emergency and meant to be used sparingly. Orders under this section are justifiable only when it is likely to create annoyance, injury or risk of injury to human life or safety, obstructions, or disturbance of the public tranquility, imperiling public safety and health. During the CWG 2010, the athletes and officials will be transported from the games village to the respective games venues in specially designated vehicles The commuters of Delhi going about their daily lives pose no risk or danger to their life and health.

Declaring a certain portion of the road as “disturbed” under Section 144 of CrPC in this situation is blatantly absurd. The nature of the punishment of seizure of vehicle is not commensurate with the nature of the supposed crime.

Preservation of the public peace and tranquility is the primary function of the government, and the law is not to be resorted to, when there are gaps in implementing policy. Penalizing common citizens in their zest to provide special arrangements for the participants and officials of the ensuing CWG is certainly not the way to do it.

We request you to please take urgent note of the situation and ask Delhi Traffic Police to immediately take back this order which is against basic principal of equality mentioned in our constitution.