The Delhi High Court on Friday sought the response of Delhi Police on a plea by AAP MLAs challenging the Delhi Police decision denying them permission to hold a peaceful protest outside the residence of Home Minister Amit Shah and Lt Governor Anil Baijal respectively.
A single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla has issued notice to Delhi Police on a plea by AAP MLAs Raghav Chadha and Atishi want to protest peacefully in order to voice the misappropriation of funds done by the BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation amounting to more than the mammoth figure of Rs 2,500 crore, which is a serious concern of the citizens of NCT of Delhi, according to the petition.
During the hearing on Friday, the counsel for the AAP MLAs contended that a protest should be allowed in a guarded manner in the residential area. He cites the order passed by the Supreme Court yesterday in the pleas against the farmers’ protest wherein the CJI categorically observed, “One thing we will make it clear. We recognize the fundamental right to protest against a law. But that cannot affect other fundamental rights and right to life of others.”
Delhi HC Justice Navin Chawla sought to know which are prohibited activities according to the order of MHA? Advocate Gautam Narayan, appearing for Delhi Police, submitted that the police should have to act according to the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) order. Certain activities including political activities are prohibited till December 31 according to the DDMA order of September 30. Activities such as political rallies etc are prohibited. In Delhi, no political activity of any kind is permissible. Therefore the rejection was based on this DDMA order.
He further contended that this prohibition should be across the state and not remain to Jantar Mantar at all. He reiterates that in Delhi two sites are permitted for the protest i.e. Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Ground. Apart from this, no other place including the residential area, the protest are being allowed.
Justice Chawla observed, “If we pass an order today that will be in total violation of this DDMA order.”
Petitioners’ counsels said they (Delhi Police) are permitting all other kind of activities, only my right to protest which a democratic right is being prohibited.
Delhi HC: Without a challenge to the DDMA order, how can I entertain these petitions?
The HC then issued notice on the plea by Raghav Chadha and Atishi and directed Delhi Police to file its reply. The next date of hearing has been set on January 14, 2021.