Thursday, July 17, 2008

Guru Arrest: PMK urges Centre to invoke Art.256 of Constitution

PMK leaders meet Manmohan, seek Guru’s release

Special Correspondent

Led by Anbumani Ramadoss, they complain against “politically motivated vendetta” of the regime

“Attempt to stifle PMK’s democratic freedom and undermine the party”

State government’s action against Mr. Guru unconstitutional, say leaders


NEW DELHI: A Pattali Makkal Katchi delegation met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday and complained against “politically motivated vendetta” of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam regime against the party.

This was specially with regard to the arrest of the senior PMK functionary J. Gurunathan alias Guru, who was detained under the National Security Act (NSA) recently.

The delegation, comprising seven MPs and 21 MLAs from Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry and led by Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss, met the Prime Minister at his residence on Wednesday evening.

The leaders urged the Centre to exercise its supervisory powers under section 14 of the NSA to revoke the detention order against Guru and direct him to be released forthwith.

A similar representation was given to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.

Later, Dr. Anbumani told reporters that the Dr. Singh had promised to look into the matter.

A similar assurance was given by Mr. Patil.

Dr. Anbumani said they had also complained against the bugging of telephones of senior PMK leaders.

Asked why the PMK had chosen to meet the Prime Minister and Home Minister even as the government was trying to stay in office by seeking a confidence vote in Parliament, Dr. Anbumani said the meeting had nothing to do with the confidence motion.

The PMK had announced its wholehearted support to the government and all the party MPs would vote in favour of the Manmohan Singh government in the Lok Sabha.

The party’s memorandum to the Prime Minister charged that the DMK’s action against Mr. Guru was unconstitutional.

Explaining how the Centre could intervene in the matter, the PMK said though Parliament had delegated the powers to the State government, the NSA contained certain inherent safeguards by making the Centre a supervisory authority.

The Act stipulated that the State government must report any exercise of power to detain a person without trial to the Centre within 10 days. The Centre had the correlative duty and responsibility to set aside and correct any misuse by the the State government.

“Such an exercise of supervisory power by the Centre is essentially required in this case,” the memorandum stated.

The PMK delegates wanted the Centre to issue a notice to the Tamil Nadu government under Article 256 of the Constitution as there had been serious misuse of power in order to undermine the party and stifle its democratic freedom.

They also requested the Centre to issue a statutory warning to the DMK government.

The delegates included PMK president G.K. Mani, Union Minister of State for Railways R. Velu, Lok Sabha MP from Pondicherry M. Ramadass and former Union Ministers E. Ponnuswamy and A.K. Moorthy.

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