Law does not allow anyone to commit suicide: Pranab (Lead, changing dateline)

August 14th, 2011 - 9:05 pm ICT by IANS  

Pranab Mukherjee Kolkata, Aug 14 (IANS) Hinting that the government would not allow social activist Anna Hazare to continue his fast indefinitely, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Sunday said no one was allowed to commit suicide as per the Indian law.

Mukherjee also termed as unconstitutional Hazare’s demand for a strong anti-graft law.

“We need to keep in mind that in indefinite hunger strike, the legal connotation of which I do not know, nobody in our society as per our law is allowed to commit suicide,” Mukherjee told reporters at his residence here.

He said it was the responsibility of the administration to look into these aspects.

Mukherjee’s comments came less than two days before Hazare is scheduled to start a fresh round of an indefinite hunger strike at the Jayaprakash Narayan Park in New Delhi, close to the 14th century ruins of Feroz Shah Kotla.

The Delhi Police have given the social activist permission to fast but restricted it to three days, besides limiting the congregation at the park to 5,000.

An angry Hazare then shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention into the matter. In a stern response, the prime minister told Hazare that he should approach the Delhi Police as certain powers were vested in certain agencies, which acted accordingly.

Mukherjee said a venue has been given to Hazare, which he may or may not like.

“The fact of the matter is there are certain places where we normally do not allow people to come and communicate, for instance a large chunk of an area around West Bengal assembly, Writers’ Buildings (the state secretariat) or Calcutta High Court where perpetually there is section 144 (prohibiting assembly of people or staging of demonstrations)”.

“If he (Hazare) has any complaint against it, he should make a complaint,” Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee noted that the much larger issue was that of the competent authority to make laws.

“So far as the constitution is concerned, it (the right to draft laws) is not given to any individual. So far as list one, laws made under the constitution, parliament and parliament alone is the competent authority to make laws. So far the list two and concurrent list, it is the state assemblies who have to make laws,” he said.

“Nobody can compel that you will have to draft a law as per my desire. It is for parliament to decide. What Mr. Anna Hazare is doing is challenging the constitution’s authority, which is not acceptable,” Mukherjee said.

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