ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Right to Sue

The Right to Sue A G Noorani THE right to sue or prosecute is indispensable in a democratic society which believes in the principle of accountability. Our legal system preserves some handovers of colonial rule because it suits the interests of the present rulers to do so even if it violates the basics of a democratic society. The definition of "good faith' in the General Clauses Act, 1897, virtually deprives the citizen of the right to sue the State and its officials for negligent performance of statutory duties which result in damage to the citizen. An identical expression used in the Penal Code, 1860 requires of the citizen due care and caution if he is to escape criminal accountability. Thus, the State acts in 'good faith' even if it acts negligently but if the citizen fails to exercise care he is not credited with 'good faith' no matter how honestly he acts.

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