Land-Grabbing Politicians Are Menace To Democracy, Says Madras High Court

Madras High Court
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Madras High Court (File/Photo)

Highlights

  • Constitutional courts have repeatedly stated that candidates with substantial criminal records should not be allowed to run for office.
  • Elected officials possess power under the Constitution and statutes, they are obligated to act with the utmost integrity

Land grabbing by elected officials is not only harmful, but also a menace to democracy, according to the Madras high court, which explains why constitutional courts have repeatedly stated that candidates with substantial criminal records should not be allowed to run for office.

When elected officials possess power under the Constitution and statutes, they are obligated to act with the utmost integrity, honesty, and devotion to their responsibilities, Justice S M Subramaniam remarked.
This court believes that elected officials engaging in land grabbing actions are significantly more severe than land grabbing perpetrators, who are just ordinary residents. As a result, land grabbers with political ties must be penalised harshly, according to Justice Subramaniam.
The judge noted that because the power given to executives, elected officials, and other authorities is like a sword, they must be alert, dutiful, and behave with the utmost responsibility and accountability.
The court stated that partaking in any illegal actions, including grave crimes such as stealing government land, such claims made by elected officials, executives, and authorities must be understood as crimes against society as a whole, and they must be treated harshly. The people supply the authority that such authorities have.
While such powers are exploited or misused, they are going against the people's will, according to the court, and action must be taken immediately. The judge noted that ordinary persons who are aware of such violations by elected officials would not bring them to the attention of the government out of fear of retaliation, and that in such cases, anonymous information should be investigated as well.
Although it is the responsibility of police and revenue authorities to intervene in such circumstances, the court found that they actively or quietly collude with land grabbers. The court stated that the police department's discipline is gradually degrading, which is not only apparent but also felt by the general population.
The court made the remarks in response to a petition filed by P Sankar seeking?10 lakh in damages for mental anguish caused by the Namakkal district collector's, assistant director of Panchayat's, and Kabilakurichi village panchayat president's negligence in their duties.

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