India's National Shame? (From The Hindu newspaper, 7 June) (Bolded type by Baron Max) New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday described as a `national shame' the violence in Rajasthan to press the demand for inclusion of Gujjars as a Scheduled Tribe in Rajasthan and the subsequent incidents in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi. Taking suo motu cognisance of large-scale destruction of property, a vacation Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and D.K. Jain directed the Directors-General of Police of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and the Delhi Police Commissioner to file within 10 days affidavits on what action was taken or was proposed to be taken against the offenders. Listing the case as "destruction of public and private properties," the Bench said, "the affidavits shall also indicate if no action has been taken as yet, the cause therefore. The judges told senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, who was appointed amicus curiae, "It is a serious matter. We are taking suo motu cognisance of the destruction of properties. It has caused a lot of trauma to the people." The Bench said, "It is a national shame that hordes of people are indulging in destruction of property." It recalled the judgment upholding a Kerala High Court order on bandhs and said damages should be recovered from those people who destroyed property. Mr. Dhavan said those who called for a bandh owed a vicarious responsibility. "Even if there may be a right to protest in some cases, that does not give licence to anybody to destroy properties and/or indulge in acts vandalism." Referring to Monday's bandh in Delhi, the Bench said life in the entire city was paralysed. "Nobody was able to reach his or her office on time. Even doctors were not able to attend to their patients." Lawyers present narrated how the agitators dragged passengers out of buses and trains. Thereafter, the Bench in its order said: "It has come to our notice that in the last one week there has been large-scale destruction of public and private properties and no preventive action appears to have been taken and unfortunately it does not prima facie appear that any action has been taken against the offenders who were responsible for destruction of properties.