Madras HC bars Muslim outfits from holding Assembly siege for anti-CAA resolution

The siege protest has been called to bring pressure on the AIADMK government to adopt a resolution in the assembly opposing the CAA as had been done by several non-BJP ruled states.

Published: 18th February 2020 07:35 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th February 2020 07:54 PM   |  A+A-

People staging a protest against the CAA in Chennai.

People staging a protest against the CAA in Chennai. (Photo| EPS)


CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday restrained a body of Muslim outfits from going ahead with its proposed agitation to lay siege to the Tamil Nadu Assembly pressing their demand for a House resolution against CAA, NRC and NPR.

A bench of justices M Sathyanaraya and R Hemalatha granted the interim injunction till March 11, restraining the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations and its allied associations from holding the agitation, proposed for Wednesday.

Passing the interim order on a PIL which sought to forebear the police from granting permission to the agitation, the bench posted the matter to March 12 for further hearing.

The court made it clear that it was not expressing any opinion on the Citizenship Amendment Act, or the National Register of Citizens or the National Population Register.

The siege protest has been called to bring pressure on the AIADMK government to adopt a resolution in the assembly opposing the CAA as had been done by several non-BJP ruled states.

An attempt by opposition DMK to move an anti-CAA resolution in the assembly during the session has failed with Speaker P Dhanapal disallowing a notice for it, saying the matter was sub-judice, an apparent reference to petitions challenging the amended act in the Supreme Court.

The first phase of the budget session of the state assembly is on till February 20.

Earlier, state Additional Advocate General S R Rajagopoal told the court that any application seeking police permission for the protest should be made five days prior, but in this case, the federation had moved the police only on Monday for the agitation proposed on Wednesday.

He also submitted that prohibitory orders under Section 41 of the Madras City Police Act have been imposed banning any kind of agitation or demonstration in the city for a period of 15 days commencing from February 13.

Petitioner Varaki, a journalist, contended if the assembly siege was allowed and a large number of protesters permitted to gather near the Secretariat, there would be complete collapse of the normal functioning of the state government.

Referring to continuing agitations, including the latest stir in a north Chennai locality, by various organisations opposing the CAA and other measures, he alleged innocent public were being incited to join such protests and create problems by spreading rumours.

Besides, some leaders of the organisations were also delivering inciting and intimidating speeches, even going to the extent of issuing a threat to the lives of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister, he submitted.

On Monday, when mention was made before the first bench, comprising Chief Justice AP Sahi and Justice Subramonium Prasad, seeking urgent hearing of the matter it directed him to file the public interest litigation and said it would take it up on Tuesday.

However, when the petitioner's counsel sought urgent hearing of the matter before the bench headed by Justice Sathyanaraya on Tuesday, it initially declined to hear the plea and said let it come through the normal course.

However, senior counsel N L Raja for the petitioner appeared before the bench later and pleaded that it be taken up as the agitation was planned for Wednesday and the public will be affected.


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