The Madras High Court bench here on Monday dismissed a petition filed by a Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam functionary seeking permission to take out a two-day torch rally starting from Usilampatti in Madurai district and heading to Pasumpon in Ramanathapuram district from October 29, to mark the celebration of Thevar Jayanthi, the birth anniversary of Pasumpon U. Muthuramalinga Thevar, a freedom fighter and prominent Mukkulathor community leader.
The petitioner, Pasupathi alias Karuppasamy Pandian, Ramanathapuram district joint secretary of the DMK, claimed in his petition that the followers of Muthuramalinga Thevar celebrated Thevar Jayanthi every year by taking out the memorial torch rally from Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Thevar statue in Usliampatti to Pasumpon Muthuramalinga Memorial in Pasumpon, via Checkkanoorani, Madurai, Thirupuvanam, Manamadurai, Parthibanoor and Abiramam.
The petitioner claimed that on October 22 he submitted representations to the inspector general (south zone), Madurai city commissioner of police and the superintendents of police of Madurai and Ramanathapuram districts seeking permission for the rally, which was scheduled to be flagged off from Usilampatti on October 28.
The officials have not considered the petitioner’s representations to date, alleged the counsel who appeared on behalf of Mr.Pasupathi before Justice T. Raja on Monday. The counsel pleaded with the judge for a direction to police officials to permit the followers of Muthuramalinga Thevar to take out the rally from Usilampatti on October 29.
However, the additional advocate general submitted that the Ramanathapuram district collector had imposed prohibitory orders under the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) Section 144 to maintain public peace. In Madurai, the City Police Act was in force, he added. In view of the prohibitory orders enforced in the two districts, the activities of Thevar Jayanthi have been restricted to a kilometre radius of the Thevar Memorial in Pasumpon, the additional advocate general submitted.
Justice Raja recorded the submissions of the additional advocate general and dismissed the petition. However, on the request of the petitioner’s counsel, he allowed the petitioner to submit a representation before the Ramanathapuram district collector to take out the torch rally within one-kilometre radius of the memorial.