The first bench of the Madras High Court on Saturday directed the police to permit Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) to celebrate the birthday of Dr B R Ambedkar at Mylapore on Sunday. The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice R K Agrawal and Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar gave the direction while disposing of two writ appeals from the State Home Secretary.
Originally, while disposing of two writ petitions from VCK functionaries Era Selvam and Kumarappa, Justice S Rajeswaran on April 12 had directed the police to grant permission to the VCK to take out a rally and hold a public meeting at Mangollai in Mylapore in the evening on Sunday, subject to certain conditions.
Aggrieved, the State preferred the present writ appeals challenging the orders of the single judge. After hearing the arguments of Advocate-General A L Somayaji and VCK counsel S Prabakaran at a special sitting on the High Court premises on Saturday, a holiday, the bench upheld the orders of the single judge, except changing the timing of the rally. The procession should start at 10 am (instead of 3 pm) from Rajarathinam Stadium and end at Langs Garden Road by 1.30 pm, the bench said. The rest of the conditions imposed by the single judge would hold good, it said, and added that they should be scrupulously followed by the organisers. “The right of the citizens to conduct procession and public meeting cannot be curtailed, except on definite reasons and not on mere surmises,’’ the bench observed earlier and granted the relief. Thirumavalavan was present in the court on Saturday. Immediately after the delivery of the judgment in their favour, VCK cadre burst crackers.
The single judge, after obtaining an undertaking from VCK leader Thol Thirumavalavan, who was present in the court on April 12, to the effect that no untoward incident would happen and that no provocative languages would be used, had directed the police on April 12 to permit him to take out the procession and to provide security for the processionists and the public at large.
The petitioners were directed not to indulge in any expression or make any statement that would stimulate or offend anybody’s feelings. The procession should be peaceful. No inconvenience should be caused to the public. The meeting should commence at 4 pm and end at 10 pm, the judge had added.