New Delhi, Aug 26: The Supreme Court of India on Friday said that it could not pass an order for the establishment of the proverbial Ram Rajya in the country. Hearing a Public Interest Litigation seeking an order against encroachments of public space including footpaths, a three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur said that the power of the court to do things was limited.
The apex court's observation came during the hearing of a PIL filed by NGO Voice of India. The petitioner complained about the encroachment of footpaths and public space by hawkers and roadside vendors. It sought appropriate orders to the relevant authorities.
Responding to the petitioner, the bench said, "Do you think with our directions, everything will be done? Do you (petitioner) think we will pass an order that there will be no corruption in the country and all corruption will go? Should we pass an order that there will be 'Ram Rajya' in the country? It cannot be like this."
The bench also comprising of Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud, tried to reason. "We want to do various things but we cannot do. Our capacity to do things is limited. This is a problem," said the SC bench.
NGO's chairman Dhanesh Kumar, appearing in person, retorted back saying, "If this court does not take any action or pass any direction, then who will?"
"Citizens' fundamental rights are at stake. You are here to protect our fundamental rights. If you cannot do that, what is the point of having fundamental rights under the Constitution? Go ahead and strike them off," the anguished petitioner told the bench.
At this point of time, the bench called in the security to remove the petitioner from the courtroom, but he continued with his argument raising his voice.
As the petitioner continued with his arguments, the court atmosphere at one point of time became very emotional, when the CJI Thakur told the complainant, "Main bhi aansoo ro raha hun" (I am too shedding tears).
Subsequently, the bench tried to pacify the petitioner. "We cannot go by an assumption that everything in the country is wrong. You can educate the people about this", the bench said.
The matter was posted for further hearing in February, 2017. Incidentally, CJI Thakur is retiring in January 2017.