Letter by Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara Hon’ble Mr. Justice A. M Khanwilkar, Judge, Supreme Court of India on Hearing of the Writ Petition no. 592/2021- demolition of shanties of the poor of Aravali without them being afforded a hearing and the court assuming the role of the executive.
The Hon’ble Mr. Justice A. M Khanwilkar,
Judge, Supreme Court of India.
May it please your Lordship,
Sub: Hearing of the Writ Petition no. 592/2021- demolition of shanties of the poor of Aravali without them being afforded a hearing and the court assuming the role of the executive- regarding.
I moved an application for recall of the order of this court ordering demolition of more than 10,000 shanties of the poor that too in a PIL where a few slumdwellers had sought regularisation of their shanties/ rehabilitation since the said orders of the Supreme Court was absolutely without jurisdiction and the court in doing so has assumed the role of the executive and acted in violation of the principles of natural justice because none of the slumdwellers were parties to the proceedings.
With great difficulty only I could get the recall application listed on 23.07.2021. No sooner the case was called out your Lordship was pleased to direct the officer concerned to mute all. I found my audio and video,both muted. Thereafter, on your Lordship’s direction Mr. Arun Bharadwaj counsel for the Faridabad Corporation was unmuted, then Shri. Colin Gonsalves , Sri. K. T.S Tulsi and Ms. Meenakshi Arora. Since I had sought the recall of the order dated 07.06.2021 directing demolition of the shanties as one rendered void ab initio, being without jurisdiction and in violation of the principles of natural justice and wholly illegal, I ought to have been heard first. I could hear your Lordship’s asking whether anyone else has got to say anything. Since my video and audio both were muted I was helpless. I called the Secretary General, the Secretary of the Chief Justice for help but to no avail. I kept on sending messages on the cell number of the your Lordship’s court officer which was available in the website. I was unmuted for a moment, but to my dismay l was again muted before I could say anything. At this point, helpless and desperate as I was, I called Ms. Arora, my old friend of the FERA Tribunal days and requested her to bring to your Lordship’s notice my agony. She was kind enough to bring the same to your Lordship’s notice and I was unmuted and I could address your Lordship on the very want of jurisdiction of this Court to order demolition of shanties of thousands of slumdwellers who were not even before the court. I knew that my exercise is all likely to be futile because the court has already granted 4 weeks time to the Corporation to complete the demolition recording its submission that it had demolished a substantial part of the shanties in earnest compliance of your Lordship’s orders and that they need further time to complete the exercise. The only consolation was that I could bring to your Lordship’s notice that your Lordship’s orders are absolutely without jurisdiction, the court is transgressing far beyond its legitimate province as the arbitrator of disputes and that when the court assumes the role of the executive, placing itself above the elected government, the persons aggreived by the court’s action as an executive has no forum to challenge such orders of the court and that it strikes the concept of judicial review at its very foundations.
Am absolutely certain in my mind that the unfortunate incident of I being muted both video and audio is accidental because the officer concerned was dutybound to mute all including me when your Lordship had directed him to do so, no sooner the case was taken up for hearing. I had with me my daughter, Adv. Maria Nedumpara and she had been repeatedly requesting by WhatsApp the officer concerned to unmute me and he/she did it for a moment. Virtual hearing offers sometimes great difficulty as I had experienced on 23.07.2021. But nobody has the right to complain because VC hearing is a dire necessity. What is important is to do what best the court/ the technical staff concerned to avoid,if not minimize at least, the kind of agony to which I was subjected to, nay,many face everyday. I know for certain that your Lordship’s noble heart will be perturbed even greater than me on coming to know of the pain and agony I was made to undergo. I believe the orders as the one this Court has passed directing demolition of the shanties of the slumdwellers without them on the party array, and manifestly without jurisdiction all has happened only because the lawyers have failed to bring to the notice of the court the great injustice resulting from the court assuming the role of the executive, nay, of judex (judge) all at once which has become the order of the day with the court even instituting ‘suo motu PILs’ where the judges assume the role of the suitor and judge all at once.
I shall be grateful if your Lordship be gracious enough to direct the technical staff concerned to admit me to the virtual court and not to mute me for the hearing of the Aravali demolition case scheduled for 03.08.2021.
In the unstinted faith that your Lordship will appreciate my helplessness and that justice will not be denied to me again, I remain.
With most respectful regards,
Mathews J Nedumpara
- September 29, 2023