LUCKNOW: Declining to issue directives to the district administration for granting permission to stage protest against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), the Allahabad High Court dismissed a writ petition saying it was not in national interest to give any relief to the petitioner in that connection on Friday.
Declining the petition of Mohammed Furquan of Firozabad district, the two-judge High Court bench, comprising Justice Bharati Sapru and Justice Piyush Agrawal said: “It is not in the national interest to give any relief to the petitioner at all. If the petitioner is a citizen of India, he must maintain peace at any costs. Hence, we are not inclined to interfere in the matter”.
The judges also observed that the writ petition had no merit so it was accordingly dismissed.
The petitioner, who claimed to be district president of a national political party had moved an application on UP Government portal seeking permission to organize a protest against CAA and NRC near Hussaini Mohalla ground in Firozabad. Subsequently, permission to him was denied by the district authorities and
the same order was uploaded on the portal of UP Government on January 22, 2020.
The petitioner then approached station house officer of police station Rasulpur in Firozabad district to seek permission but the SHO also denied him the same saying it was not allowed as prohibitary orders under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) were in force in the district. Further, the SHO also took the stand that the said area of Husaini Mohalla ground was a communally sensitive area, hence no such protest could be allowed there as it could lead to disturb the peace. The SHO even cautioned the petitioner saying legal action would be initiated against him if he would go ahead with his protest plan despite denial of permission.
Consequently, the petitioner moved Allahabad High Court challenging SHO’s order dated January 22, 2020. The petitioner presented his side saying blanket ban on all the activities of common public was violation of Article 19 of the Constitution, which provided the right of freedom of speech and expression to the citizen. The petitioner also claimed that similar peaceful protests, attended by millions, were going on all over the nation.
The petitioner had also made a request to the court to direct the state government authorities to permit the petitioner to hold peaceful protest against the enforcement of Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 and preparation of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in the interest of justice. Meanwhile, the state counsel had submitted that public properties were damaged at many places in the district where half a dozen lives were lost during the December 20 protests.