Police to take call on granting or rejecting permission for rallies: HC

Justice V Sivagnanam passed the direction on closing a contempt petition filed by S Kalyani, president of Thiravida Thotta Thozhilalar Munnetra Sangam, Valparai
Madras High Court
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court had made it clear that when an individual or an organisation is making a representation to the police to grant permission to carry out a procession, it is up to the discretion of the police to allow or deny the permission to such events.

Justice V Sivagnanam passed the direction on closing a contempt petition filed by S Kalyani, president of Thiravida Thotta Thozhilalar Munnetra Sangam, Valparai.

The petitioner filed the contempt petition to punish the Coimbatore City Police Commissioner and District Superintendent of Police for not complying with the order of the HC for taking a call on the representation made by the petitioner to conduct a march from Valparai to Coimbatore.

However, E Raj Thilak, Additional Public Prosecutor for police submitted that after the PFI ban, law and order should be considered before granting permission for processions. Also, the petitioner said that she and her association members would walk through a route of the thick forest where wild animals would roam and cause hazards to the people. Therefore, the representation was rejected, according to the police.

Concurring with the arguments of the APP, the judge held that he did not find any willful disobedience of the court order.

“In this matter grant or not to grant permission, discretion is left to the respondent police by exercising the discretionary power, adding that based upon the situations, the respondent police rejected the petitioner’s request on October 26,” the judge added.

The case of the petitioner was to carry on a procession from Valparai to Coimbatore to meet and submit their grievance representation signed by 1000s of laborers from Valparai to the district collector to increase the minimum wage. Since the police rejected permission for the procession, the petitioner approached the court. On 14th October, the court passed a direction to the police to take a decision on the representation on merits. The petitioner again made representation to the police citing the court order. However, the police denied permission again which made the petitioner file a contempt petition.

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