State transport no fundamental right: court


New Delhi : Denial of transport facility to citizens by a state government does not impinge upon their Fundamental Rights, the Supreme Court said Monday.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan made this observation while refusing to entertain a plea by a Tamil Nadu student seeking compensation from the state government for obstructing and curtailing his right to free movement enshrined as a Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution.

“It’s not a violation of your Fundamental Right. Having state transport is not a fundamental right,” the bench, which also included Justice R.V. Raveendran, observed while dismissing the petition by P. Srikrshna Kumar, who had approached the court under Article 32 of the Constitution, which is invoked in the case of violation of a Fundamental Right.

A higher senior secondary student, Kumar had approached the court contending that he was not able to appear for his school examination owing to non-availability of state transport on Oct 1 due to state wide shutdown enforced by the ruling DMK.

Pleading to the bench to admit his petition and give it a hearing, counsel Satish Gella for the student contended that due to the statewide shutdown he was not able to reach his examination centre on that day.

The student covered the 20 km distance from his home near Kurubapalayam bus stop to the exam centre on foot, but failed to reach on time, said Gella, contending that it was due to the state’s machinations in curtailing and obstructing his right to free movement.

The ruling DMK had called a statewide shutdown Oct 1 to demand speedy implementation of the Sethusamudram Shipping Canal Project off the Tamil Nadu coast. The apex court had in a special hearing a day earlier (on a Sunday) banned the shutdown.

Chief Minister and DMK supremo M. Karunanidhi is facing contempt of court proceedings for violating the court order banning the shutdown.