BENGALURU: The High Court on Friday upheld the order of the city police banning Vishwa Hindu Parishad International Working President Praveen Togadia from entering the city.
While refusing to stay a ban order issued by City Police Commissioner M N Reddi on January 31, Justice S Abdul Nazeer said, “Prima facie, I am of the view that the ban order cannot be termed as patently illegal or that it has been passed with ulterior motives.”
Togadia was barred from entering the city for seven days from February 5 to 11, citing law and order problem by the city police.
Togadia was to visit the city to take part in the Virat Hindu Samajotsava, to be held at the National College ground in Basavanagudi on Sunday.
Justice Nazeer said the police considered relevant materials while banning Togadia from entering the city, he said. “This court cannot act as an appellate authority on the decision of the police. In appropriate cases, the city police commissioner is authorised to pass an ex-parte order under Section 144(3) of the CrPC,” he said referring to the magisterial powers of the City Police Commissioner.
“It is true that Togadia, the first petitioner, has participated in similar programmes in December 2014 and January 2015 in the state. They were all small cities where the gathering was limited. Bengaluru, being a metropolitan city, it is natural to expect a large gathering. Therefore, the police department was of the view that it may lead to law and order problem,” the judge said.
Senior counsel B V Acharya, representing Togadia, had earlier said his client would give an undertaking that there will be no inflammatory or provocative speech. But it was not considered by the court.