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Bandh: AGNI welcomes HC order

A Correspondent in Mumbai | July 23, 2004 16:49 IST

AGNI -- Action for Good Governance and Networking in India -- has welcomed the Bombay high court's decision to fine the Shiv Sena and Bharatiya Janata Party Rs 20 lakh each for calling a bandh in Mumbai on July 30, 2003 in the wake of bomb blast in the city.

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Gerson da Cunha, who along with other members of AGNI, had sought damages from the Sena and BJP for the losses caused by the bandh, said: "It is a landmark decision and the honourable bench has clearly said that any party that calls for a bandh is to be held accountable. In this case, the bench has imposed punitive damages of Rs 20 lakh," he told <i></i> over telephone.

He admitted that when AGNI filed the appeal before the high court, they were unsure of what the verdict might be. "When you do something for the first time, you are never sure of the outcome. But one goes ahead and does what one believes is right," he said.

He also praised their counsel, Aspi Chinoy, for forcefully arguing the case.

Gerson da Cunha, who worked in advertising earlier and is now actively involved in community issues in Mumbai, said that while workers had every right to strike work, no one had the right to stop others from working.

"Workers can still down their tools as a means of protest. But you cannot stop me from going to work, because in doing so, you are denying me my fundamental right," he said.

He said a bandh is akin to a madman flailing a stick all around without caring who gets hit.

He said the judgment is also notice to the citizens to stay alert. "The citizens have to act as watchdogs to hold those responsible accountable for their actions," he said.

The other members of AGNI, who had petitioned the high court, are: former cabinet secretary B G Deshmukh; noted advertising professional Alyque Padamsee; and former Mumbai police commissioner Julio Ribeiro.

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Number of User Comments: 3

Sub: Will AGNI take to active consumerism?

While congratualating judiciary for their bold and land mark judgement in this case, people of our country will certainly pat AGNI for their unstinted efforts ...

Posted by B.Gautam

Sub: HC fine on BJP-SS is a good move

The HC judges, and AGNI need to be thanked for standing up for democracy and giving the tumbs down to goonda-giri and fascism. Three cheers!!

Posted by Michael

Sub: Please maintain such promptness for the bandh called in west Bengal

This is really a commendable decision and commendable work.but would have been more commendable if it would have for the political party of WB where ...

Posted by Anonymous


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