Friday, January 27, 2023

Karnataka High Court quashes PIL regarding protests held in Bengaluru on March 2, 2021

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The Karnataka High Court has disposed of a suo motu PIL, which mentioned the protests and dharnas held on March 2, 2021 during prime hours in the heart of Bengaluru, leading to a huge traffic congestion and causing inconvenience to several citizens.

The Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice Alok Aradhe and Justice S. Vishwajith Shetty disposed of the PIL, with a direction to the respondents to ensure compliance of the provisions of the Order of 2021 in letter and spirit and to continue to initiate action against the persons who are found to be violating the provisions of the Order of 2021.

Taking cognisance of a letter written by one of the Sitting Judges of the High Court to the Chief Justice on March 3, 2021, the High Court had directed the matter to be treated as a suo motu public interest litigation.

It was stated before the High Court that if any person is found violating the provisions of the Order of 2021, action is taken against him.

The Additional Government Advocate (AGA) placed on record the status report filed on July 14, 2022, in which, it was pointed out that 27 criminal cases have been registered against the persons who had violated the provisions of the Order of 2021.

The bench was apprised that in pursuance of the directions issued from time to time, during the pendency of the petition, the State Government has framed Licensing and Regulation of Protests, Demonstrations and Protest Marches (Bengaluru City) Order, 2021 under Section 31(1)(o) of the Karnataka Police Act, 1963.

The protests, marches and dharanas shall be permitted to be held only at the Freedom Park and the State Government is under an obligation to ensure that the provisions of the Order of 2021 which had been framed in exercise of the powers under Section 31(1)(o) of the Act of 1963 are complied with in letter and spirit, it was further told.

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