TODAY -

Not so hard verdict, but perhaps a blow to the state executive
- Imphal Times Editorial :: March 08 2017 -



Manipur High Court verdict which declared UNC’s economic blockade as ‘illegal’ has put a million dollar questions to the citizen of the state.

Learned justice of the Manipur High Court may have every reason for declaring activities of the UNC which has been enforcing prolonged economic blockade as illegal even as every newspaper readers knows that there is already a Supreme Court ruling which said that any form of blockade is illegal.

The economic blockade has entered 127 days today. Two leaders of the UNC Mr. Gaidon Kamei and S Stephen Lamkang are in judicial custody.

Other office bearers of the UNC were also summoned by the respected High Court in its proceeding to the PIL filed by RK Joysana expressing concern over the situation arising out of the economic blockade. Yet, there is no turning back to the economic blockade.

Well, even as the verdict fails to satisfy the expectation of many people, the High Court verdict is timely and it does carries multiple interpretations.

Not only that it remains the law enforcers about this blockade being illegal but also it did indirectly hinted the executives on their failure to deal with the issue that has been putting the people of the state at stake.

To many people, declaring the activities of UNC is equal to declaration of the organization as illegal.

But law is law and it cannot be so until exact words has been stated, it is only the economic blockade that is illegal and not the UNC which is enforcing the economic blockade.

As according to the views of the noted scholar Prof. Bimol Akoijam of JNU - if an organization/body indulges in an illegal act does not necessarily mean that the organization/body is an “illegal” organization/body (insofar as ‘illegal” here means “unlawful” organization/body as some organizations have been announced (e.g., UNLF/RPF/KYKL etc). Well in that case UNC is still legal.

Leaving aside the legal interpretation of organizations or individuals, what actually needed to ponder upon is whether organization cann’t be treated as individual.

Organisation is a body form by a group of people with similar ideology having agreed to work on similar aims. It is more like an individual as the individual to think and act with his or her body organ.

One question wanted to put here is that if some Mr. X vandalise a vehicle and if supposed he was caught, do we have to say that Mr. X is still innocent as it is the act of vandalising the vehicle which is illegal.

Until and unless a law expert give interpretation of the verdict it will be still early to assume whether UNC is illegal as its activities is declared illegal.

The verdict is also no difference from what the state government had played days back.

A legislature party meeting adopted resolution to urge the center for declaring UNC as unlawful body. However, there were evidences that state government announced an organization as unlawful in its own .

It is known that Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908 enables the state government to declare an association to be ‘unlawful’.

Such a declaration can be made if the state government is of the opinion that the association interferes with the administration of law, maintenance of law and order or constitutes a danger to public peace.

Acting under Section 16 of the Criminal Law Amendment Act 1908, Orissa, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu have declared the CPI (Maoist) an unlawful association.

Bihar has declared the MCC and the CPI (ML)-PW as unlawful associations. Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have declared CPI (Maoist) as an unlawful association under their respective state Acts”

The court says UNC’s economic blockade illegal, the government says it is the center that can announced the UNC as “unlawful”. Something very serious politics seems to be going here.



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