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Congress dares BJP to challenge SC verdict on Ramlila Maidan crackdown

New Delhi, Thu, 23 Feb 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Feb 23 (ANI): Congress Party on Thursday dared the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to challenge the Supreme Court's verdict on midnight crackdown at the Ramlila Maidan last year, and said that the leaders of the opposition consider it their birthright to give running commentary on every issue.


"If the Bharatiya Janata Party disagrees with the decision of the Supreme Court, well they are free to go and challenge it. They can become interveners, since it was a suo motu cognizance and then go and file a review," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.


"But the larger question which it raises is with respect to the kind of reverence the Bharatiya Janata Party has for constitutional institutions," he added.


Tewari alleged that the BJP is at the moment ailing with a disease.


"The Bharatiya Janata Party is ailing with a disease. They think it is their birthright to give running commentary on every issue. The few excerpts of the judgment of the Supreme Court that have been made public as of now, none of them carry any comments neither on the Home Ministry or the Central Government," said Tewari.


"So, if the BJP believes in making baseless comments then we don't have any medicine to cure them of their ailment," he added.


Tewari further said the BJP was now disrespecting the constitutional institutions by not agreeing with the verdict of the apex court.


"The Bharatiya Janata Party has been assailing and assaulting the Congress for disrespecting constitutional institutions and now you have the Bharatiya Janata Party saying that it does not agree with the Supreme Court order. May I ask who is disrespecting the constitutional institution? If the Bharatiya Janata Party does not have respect for the Supreme Court and its orders, then which other constitutional institution do they have respect for?" said Tewari.


"So, therefore just because something does not fall within the four corners of your political convenience, this does not mean that the Bharatiya Janata Party is licensed to go completely on tangent and even cast aspersions on an institution as august as the Supreme Court," he added.


BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar had earlier in the day welcomed the verdict of the apex court, but said that his outfit was not in sync with the other half of the verdict in which the judicial body slammed yoga guru Baba Ramdev over negligence.


"We are constrained to observe that by today's directions, even the court is diluting the right to protest, which should not have happened. So we are not agreeing to that part where Ramdev Baba has been held guilty of contributing to negligence and is made to pay one fourth of compensation, so we don't agree with that part of the judgment," he said.


Javadekar further said the Central Government should have also been held responsible for the incident along with the Delhi Police.


"We will like to raise the issue where the Delhi Police is guilty. How come that the Central Government, which is directly in charge of the Delhi Police is not responsible? After all the country must know what was the interaction between the Delhi Police and the Home Minister. What was the interaction between the Congress high command Sonia Gandhi and the Home Minister and the Prime Minister?" said Javadekar.


"And if court has ordered an enquiry within the next three months, we hope that the court will monitor that investigation also because that is very much needed," he added.


The Supreme Court had earlier in the day castigated the Delhi Police and Baba Ramdev for the midnight violent incident at the Ramlila Maidan last year, and said it was a "glaring example of trust deficit" between the people and the government.


An apex court bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar said that incident showed the might of the state, which struck at the foundation of democracy.


The bench further observed that the police and the state could have avoided that tragic incident in which one person died and several others were injured.


Commenting on the death of a woman Rajbala during the incident, the apex court directed the state government and Baba Ramdev to pay a compensation of Rs.5 lakh to her next of kin.


The court directed Baba Ramdev to pay 25 percent of the compensation, while the rest 75 percent would have to be paid by the Government of Delhi.


The yoga guru had been on a hunger strike against corruption along with 65,000 followers when the Delhi Police on the Central Government's orders cracked down on their camp late on the night of June 5 at the Ramlila Maidan.


Delhi Police fired tear gas shells, when Ramdev was on his indefinite "fast-unto-death" stir to demand several radical reforms in the prevailing political system, including a death penalty for corrupt officials. (ANI)


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