The Madras high court has observed politics must be played for the betterment of the common man and the country, instead, playing with the people’s lives for securing monetary and personal gains is not only misuse of power, but against the constitutional ideals.
Justice S M Subramaniam made the observations in a recent order on a contempt petition filed by R Girija, who approached the court after her tenant S Ramalingam, an office bearer of the ruling DMK, refused to vacate her house for more than ten years, despite court orders.
The judge said politicians play an influential role in the life of a common man. The words and actions of a politician have an impact on his followers, party men and the public at large. It was imperative that this power was not to be misused for illegal and personal gains.
“The power-wielding politicians have an inherent responsibility in having a positive and healthy impact on the lives of the people and guiding them in the right path, but instead what we are witnessing today in many instances is that the politicians are using their political connections and power to threaten and create nuisance to the public at large. This court cannot sit back and watch that the common man is facing ordeals”, the judge added.
The judge said this court was witnessing large scale exploitation of political power by certain politicians especially in land grabbing matters. This will pave the way for an unhealthy democracy.
Using political power and influence to grab land from a powerless common man was nothing short of day-light robbery. A common man may seem powerless in front of society. But every citizen of our Great Nation and his rights were Constitutionally protected.
The Courts will not remain spectators, especially, when his/her right to carry on with a peaceful life under Article 21 was threatened, the judge added.
The judge said political power should be used only for the benefit of the public and not to their detriment.
When politicians were given such power by the common public, it must be used for socially beneficial issues and not for creating problems for self gains, the judge added.
Earlier, when the case came up for hearing, the Deputy Commissioner of Police [Administration], Greater Chennai Police filed a status report stating that the order passed by the Court on this contempt petition, dated September 1, 2023 has been complied with.
The tenant has already been evicted and the vacant possession was handed to the landlady by the Police authorities. The counsel for the petitioner also acknowledged the same.
After it was brought to the notice of the court by the counsel for the petitioner that the arrears of rent for more than 5 years was yet to be settled by Ramalingam, the judge made the above observations.
The judge further said in the case of the present contempt petition, it took 12 years for the elderly woman to vacate the tenant through the Court of Law with the assistance of Police.
Rent has not been paid for many years. The husband of the contempt petitioner was aged about 75 years. Senior citizens at their old age require funds to meet their medical expenditures and to lead a normal life.
The District Collector under the provisions of the Senior Citizen Act was duty bound to protect the security and dignity of the senior citizen living in his/her District. Rules framed under the Senior Citizen Act enumerates the duties and responsibilities of the District Collector to protect the life, security and dignity of the senior citizen, the judge added.
The judge said the lengthy Court proceedings in Rent Control matters were being abused by certain litigants by protracting the case in order to evade eviction by the landlords and to recover arrears of rent.
Even under the new enactment on Rental Law, few tenants were attempting to protract the legal proceedings with the gainful guidance of the legal brains and by taking undue advantage of the frequent adjournments being granted liberally by the Rent Controller /Courts.
Such attempts were to be thwarted. It was the duty of the State and District Collector to ensure the security, dignity and protect the normal life of the senior citizens.
Huge amount of rental arrears was yet to be settled in favour of the present contempt petitioner by the tenant, the judge added and directed Ramalingam to appear in person or through his counsel on September 11 before the court.