The Madras High Court on Sunday recorded the submission of Greater Chennai City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan that he had rejected permission for a rally planned by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies in Chennai on Monday to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of 2019.


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Permission denied for DMK rally, police tell HC






Mohamed Imranullah S.CHENNAI, DECEMBER 23, 2019 00:47 ISTUPDATED: DECEMBER 23, 2019 00:55 IST

We will go ahead with protest: Stalin
The Madras High Court on Sunday recorded the submission of Greater Chennai City Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan that he had rejected permission for a rally planned by Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam and its allies in Chennai on Monday to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) of 2019.

However, DMK president on Sunday night announced that the rally would take place as scheduled.
A Division Bench of Justices S. Vaidyanathan and P.T. Asha also recorded the submission of Government Pleader V. Jayaprakash Narayan that the police would take necessary action if the rally was conducted despite the rejection order passed by the Commissioner of Police on Sunday and if there was any violence.
Nevertheless, not wanting to “take any chances” in view of violent incidents reported across the country during such protests, the judges ordered that if the rally is held without police permission, it should be recorded using drone cameras so that the political leaders concerned could be made liable for the violence.


The interim orders were passed on two public interest litigation petitions, one filed by R. Varaaki who claimed to be the editor of a magazine titled ‘Indian Reporter’ and the other by A. Ezhilarasu of Avadi. Both the petitioners had sought a direction to the Commissioner of Police to desist from granting permission for the rally.
The judges held a special sitting around 9 pm in the High Court to hear the two cases. The Government Pleader informed the court that S. Madhan Mohan, Chennai West district secretary of DMK, had made an application on December 18 seeking permission for the rally scheduled for December 23.
The applicant stated that the rally would begin at Langs Garden Road and end at Rajarathinam Stadium, going through South Cooum Road. On December 19, the police wrote back to him seeking answers for as many as 18 questions, of which a majority of them were related to the number of expected participants, the slogans that would be raised and so on.

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However, they also included five significant questions. The police wanted to know whether the applicant or his party office-bearers would take responsibility in case of any violent incidents in the rally and also sought the names, designations, address and phone numbers of the individuals who could be held responsible for the violence.
The police also wanted to know whether the applicant would give an assurance that none of the participants would burn effigies or tear copies of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. They further asked if the applicant was willing to given an assurance that no violent incidents would take place during the rally to be attended by cadres of many political parties.
‘Evasive’ reply
However, in his reply to the queries, the applicant on Saturday informed the police that the five contentious questions would not be applicable to him. Not satisfied with such an “evasive” reply and also fearing that the rally might get diverted and pass through Pudupet, a congested area, the Commissioner on Sunday rejected permission for the rally.
During the course of hearing, the judge said that a peaceful protest could not be prevented in a democratic set-up. In the same breath, they disapproved of violent protests and said that it was rather surprising that the applicant had given “evasive” replies to “pertinent” questions posed by the police regarding fixing of responsibility for violence.
Nevertheless, since the applicant had not chosen to challenge the rejection order passed by the Commissioner of Police, the judges refrained from going any further into the issue and stopped short with an interim order to videograph the rally, if any, taken out in violation of the police diktat.

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