Function held in memory of T.M. Jacob

The police have started inquiry into the complaint that the meeting commemorating former Minister for Food and Civil Supplies T.M. Jacob at Piravom on Sunday had violated the High Court order against holding meetings on roadsides.

A case was registered against the organisers of the meeting on Sunday. Even though the stage was put up at the place in contention, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy; K. Babu, MLA; and Jose K. Mani, MP; addressed the gathering from a nearby building.

DCC clarifies

V.J. Poulose, president of the Ernakulam District Congress Committee, and one of the organisers of the meeting, said that the stage for the meeting was erected on a piece of land owned by a church.

The permission of the church authorities was sought for constructing the stage on their holding. The police may have registered the case after a crowd gathered on the road to listen to the speeches, Mr. Poulose said.

The Chief Minister wanted the meeting to be shifted to a building adjacent to the stage as he did not want to violate the law regarding the conduct of public meetings on waysides. The permission of the police was also sought for organising the meeting, Mr. Poulose said.

“The statement that the meeting was held at the land owned by the church is being probed. We will record the statements from the church authorities also in this regard,” said Harshita Attaluri, Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural.

The police are also waiting for the offices of district panchayat and Public Works Department to function, which were closed on account of Bakrid on Monday, to verify the details about the meeting venue.

Court order

The High Court had stayed the operation of the provisions of the Kerala Public Ways (restriction of assemblies and processions) Act 2011, as it felt that it violated the fundamental rights of the people.

The Act was brought in when the High Court prohibited road side meetings. The court, while staying the Act, had said that the legislation had been enacted to get around its judgment.