CHENNAI: The Madras high Court on Monday orally directed the Advocate-General R Muthukumaraswamy to ensure the safety of the public and the protestors who had been protesting peacefully till date to lift the ban on jallikattu.
Justice R Mahadevan, who issued the directive, made it clear that the police was at liberty to take necessary action if any untoward incident occurred.
The judge also asked R Sankarasubbu, the counsel for the petitioners, to get instructions from the protestors on how long they intended to continue their protest or when they would conclude, in the wake of the latest development of the State passing an ordinance in support of jallikattu.
The judge was passing interim orders on a criminal original petition from G Pavendhan and Senthil Kumar, praying for a directive to the police not to harass the protesters.
Sankarasubbu claimed that the police had become unruly overnight and unleashed violence against the protesters, who are not backed by any political party.
“It is a spontaneous and peaceful agitation by the students.” People had gathered from January 15 last and continued the protest which was supported by the Government too, Subbu said.
The people were fighting for a good cause and their lives had to be protected. The agitation would have come to an end on its own after holding discussions with the legal fraternity on the validity and effectiveness of the ordinance, Subbu added.
The AG submitted that the government had acted swiftly and took all necessary steps to bring out the ordinance at a remarkable speed. Till January 19, the agitation was headed by the students. But after that, some anti-social elements intruded, which led to the violent incidents. Moreover, the petition was filed under Sec. 482 CrPC and it was not a public interest writ petition, Subbu said.
Expressing his displeasure over the violent incidents that had happened, including caning and burning of vehicles and damage to public property, the judge orally asked the AG to instruct the DGP to ensure the safety of the public and the protesters.
The matter would be taken up on Tuesday.
Earlier in the morning, the Madras High Court Advocates Association vice-president S Sudha and advocate RY George Williams raised the same issue before the first bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice M Sundar, which refused to entertain it.
When senior advocate R Gandhi and advocate V Suresh raised the similar issue in the evening, the bench replied that since Justice Mahadevan was seized of the matter, the issue could be kept in cold-storage till tomorrow.