Justice Katju praised the Supreme Court’s decision on the Haldwani episode

Justice Katju praised the Supreme Court's decision on the Haldwani episode
justice katju praised the supreme court's decision on the haldwani episode

Kevalam shaastram aashritya na kartavyo vinirnayah

Yuktiheene vichaare tu dharma haani prajaayate

By Justice Markandey Katju

The Supreme Court acted rightly in staying the order of the Uttarakhand High Court for eviction of 50,000 people, including women, old people and children, from their homes in Banbhoolpura area in Haldwani in Uttarakhand, many of whom are said to have been living there for decades.

The Chief Minister said that it was railway land which these people were illegally occupying.

I am not going into this question, but may mention a case pertaining to Mumbai jhuggi jhopdi ( slum ) dwellers which came before a 2 judge bench of the Supreme Court of which I was the junior judge.

These jhuggi jhopdi dwellers were poor people who had no title or lease on the land where they were living. So my senior colleague on the bench said that they are illegal occupants, and should be thrown out.

I said, “But where should they go, brother?

He replied “Wherever they came from“.

I said, “Brother, they are poor people who came as labourers from Bihar or somewhere to eke out their existence with their families in these places. They have no jobs in Bihar. Should they be dumped into the sea ? After all, they are human beings. It is not just a legal problem, it is also a humanitarian problem“.

On my insistence we stayed their eviction, and directed the Govt to prepare an alternative rehabilitation scheme.

It may be true that the concerned Haldwani people, like the Mumbai slum dwellers, may not be legally occupying the land on which they are living. But there is a Sanskrit shloka :

”Kevalam shaastram aashritya na kartavyo vinirnayah

  Yuktiheene vichaare tu, dharma haani prajaayate”

i.e.

”A decision should not be given by merely following the letter of the law.

For if the decision is wholly unreasonable, injustice will follow.”

In other words, equitable and humanitarian considerations must also be taken into consideration.

Bulldozer in Haldwani: Godi media has given advantage to Congress. hastakshep | Prashant Tandon

हमें गूगल न्यूज पर फॉलो करें. ट्विटर पर फॉलो करें. वाट्सएप पर संदेश पाएं. हस्तक्षेप की आर्थिक मदद करें

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About the Author

Justice Markandey Katju
Markandey Katju is an Indian jurist and former Supreme Court judge of India who served as chairman of the Press Council of India. He is the founder and patron of the Indian Reunification Association (IRA), an organisation that advocates for the peaceful reunification of what is now Pakistan and Bangladesh with India under a secular government.

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