The Madras High Court has asked the Police authorities to ensure that in making special arrangements for movement of vehicles/ convoy of VIPs/ dignitaries, least inconvenience is caused to the ordinary citizens.
A Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy directed the Director General of the State Police and the Commissioners of Police in the city commissionerates to ensure least inconvenience to ordinary citizens during VIP movement unless the high dignitaries are of the status of, say, the President or the Prime Minister of India.
The direction was made in a writ petition field by Advocate M. Gnanasekar, urging the Court to forbear the authorities from preventing the people of Tamil Nadu from using roads in the name of political campaigns by the Political leaders.
The petition pertained to a solitary incident where some roads were closed on March 28, 2021, to make room for the Chief Minister to pass en route to a campaign meeting.
Gnanasekar contended that even if special arrangements need to be made for VIPs on the ground of security, the ordinary citizens should not be made to suffer; there should be free flow of traffic.
The Bench observed that this sentiment is shared all round that common citizens are inconvenienced by being required to wait for hours together because of VIP movement.
“At times, it is even doubtful whether the persons who are accorded such special treatment are entitled thereto or whether there are any security concerns pertaining to them,” it observed.
The Bench added,
“There is no doubt that the Chief Minister should have the right of way and the security concerns surrounding the post demand that Chief Minister’s car not be stalled in traffic. Equally, the local police authorities should ensure that ordinary citizens are not put to great inconvenience or entire stretches of roads are prohibited from use or the traffic at crossings are stopped for any great length of time in connection with any VIP movement.”
However, since the petition reflected only a solitary incident, the Bench disposed of the petition as the incident may have been more of an aberration than the practice.
Case Title: M. Gnanasekar v. Chief Election Commissioner of India & Ors.
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