No protests or processions in Bengaluru except at Freedom Park, orders Karnataka High Court

The court directed the government to ensure that there are no protests by any organisation, except at the Freedom Park, which is earmarked for agitation, and that traffic in the city is not affected

Published: 03rd March 2022 03:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 03rd March 2022 03:23 PM   |  A+A-

Karnataka High Court (File Photo| EPS)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: In a major development, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday directed the state government to ensure forthwith that no protests, processions or meetings are held in Bengaluru by any organisation or group, either political or non-political, except at the Freedom Park, Gandhi Nagar, which is earmarked for agitation, that too in an organised manner, and that traffic in the city does not get adversely affected, especially during rush hours.

It is further directed that in case any such activities are carried out, appropriate action shall be taken and the responsibility of the agencies meant for providing proper traffic regulations can be fixed and action taken in this regard shall be reported to the court. The state government is directed ensure this order is implemented forthwith, the court added.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice S R Krishna Kumar passed the order after hearing a suo motu public interest litigation which was initiated in 2021 based on a letter written by a sitting judge of the high court with regard to the traffic in the city. The Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary, Home Department, Commissioner of BBMP, DG and IGP and City Police Commissioner, and also three major political parties namely Congress, BJP and JD(S) were made as respondents in the petition.

"Since there are several issues with regard to holding of processions qua the rules and whether the processions/protests etc., can be held in accordance with law, having regard to the fact that the processions/protests, etc., have serious repercussions on the city as well as cascading effect on the day to day activity in the entire city, including traffic, etc., pending decision in this petition, we deem it appropriate to direct the state government that no protests/processions/meetings held in the entire city of Bengaluru by any group, political or non-political, except at the Freedom Park, Gandhi Nagar, in an organised manner and ensuring traffic in the city does not get adversely affected, especially during rush hours," the court said in the order.

Meanwhile, the court recorded the submission made by the government advocate that the implementation of the e-gazetted rules is already provided under Section 103 of the Karnataka Police Act and Section 188 of IPC and the jurisdictional police inspector is the competent authority to take/enforce these rules and take appropriation action in case of violation of these rules.

The court said it is high time to take action. It took one hour to reach the High Court on Thursday in the morning from Nyaya Grama, the court said while pointing out the traffic jam on Mekhri Circle.



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