Final verdict: No CMB protest on Marina

The jubilation over the single judge of the Madras High Court granting permission to farmer leader Ayyakannu to stage a hunger strike for a day on the Marina here, demanding the Cauvery Management Board, was short-lived with the state government managing to secure an interim stay against the order on Saturday.
Final verdict: No CMB protest on Marina
File photo


High drama prevailed as the proceedings, both before the single judge and the division bench witnessed heated arguments, especially with the court scheduled to close for the summer vacation for a month from Sunday. 
Initially, Justice T Raja partially allowed the plea setting aside the state’s opposition that it would set a wrong precedent and open the flood gate to hundreds of such requests. The judge observed that the Marina would be a more appropriate place than the other places suggested by the government, including Valluvar Kottam, where the public would be put to inconvenience due to traffic jams. 
Following this, additional advocate general (AAG) PH Arvind Pandian, appearing for the state, approached the first bench of the court headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee. Following this, the matter was referred to a division bench of Justice S Manikumar and Justice V Bhavani Subbaroyan. 
Though the said bench was about to wind up its proceedings, the judges agreed to hear the plea considering the urgency. The hearing which commenced around 6.30pm also witnessed heated arguments with the AAG pointing out that government has stopped permitting protests at the Marina since 2003, and that even a recent hunger strike organised by the ruling AIADMK in which the chief minister and deputy chief minister participated was permitted only near the government guest house in Chepauk. 
The bench also asked, “What if thousands of people gather in Valluvar Kottam, what would the authorities do?” 
However, the bench on recording the submissions from either side, passed an interim stay against the order of the single judge.  But, the bench also directed the authorities to consider permitting the protest in any other place where usually such protests are allowed, if the petitioner approached the government.

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