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Loksatta congratulates Governor for not assenting to Akrama/Sakrama
22 August 2010

Loksatta Party today congratulated Governor H N Bharadwaj for not giving his assent to the controversial Akrama/Sakrama legislation passed by the Assembly in the recently concluded session. Pointing out that the High Court stay on the legislation is still in place, the Governor indicated that the State would first need to get the stay vacated before he could give his assent. For the government, which tried to bypass the court by passing a new law when the old one was challenged in court, this should come as no surprise, said a party spokesman.

"It is an open secret that Akrama/Sakrama is a highly unfair law. Any legislation that gives offenders a free pass is bound to be opposed by law-abiding citizens. Of course there are many beneficiaries of this scheme. But governing is not about pleasing various interest groups, so that their pet agendas can be passed into law. The main purpose of an elected government is to sustain the institutions of law and order, and enforce the course of justice over injustice. If this basic principle is violated, nothing else in the democracy will remain sacrosanct," said Loksatta Party shadow cabinet member Muralidhar Rao.

Elaborating further, he said, "Loksatta will certainly oppose this legislation in the courts. In our opinion, this legislation has no chance of being upheld by the courts, anyway. It violates so many different principles that it could be struck down on account of any one of them. The government may also be aware of this, which is one reason why it did not respond to the questions raised in the court, but sought to pass a new law. The Governor has now figured out that there is nothing 'new' about the latest bill, it is just a version of the old bill. Next, the Court may also draw the same conclusion, at which point the legislation will be properly dead."

Loksatta Party belives that the only way to address wide-spread irregularities in the system is to first put in place an effective governance framework that ensures that there will be no further violations of the zoning regulations and building plans. Unless this is done, sakrama will become a recurring feature of governance in the state, and orderly growth will not be possible.

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