Assembly polls | Puducherry District Collector clarifies prohibitory order will not affect normal life

DEO Purva Garg, right, in Puducherry on Friday.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Acting on the directions of the Madras High Court, District Collector Purva Garg on April 5 clarified that the prohibitory orders issued under Section 144 of the CrPC would not affect normal public life in Puducherry, which goes to the polls on April 6.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy had expressed displeasure over the prohibitory orders after concluding a special sitting to hear a public interest litigation petition filed by R. Rajangam, secretary, CPI(M), Puducherry on April 4.

“Every citizen in a free country can do anything lawful that the citizen chooses and even the slightest of restriction on the citizens’ movement has to be justified. In the present case, the impugned notice of March 22, 2021 is singularly lacking in indicating any cogent reason for imposing restrictions on citizens’ movement and how citizens may choose to go about their business. Officials must be reminded that curbs are imposed on citizens and their freedom of movement and the like only when there is an imminent need or it is in the larger public interest. Due care and caution must be exercised to ensure that the restrictions are not unreasonable or suffocating,” the judges stated.

In a clarificatory order issued in her capacity as District Magistrate, the Collector stated that the expression, “prohibit the unlawful assembly and movement” appearing in the order, will not stand in the way of citizens going about their normal life and gathering for private functions.

“It is made abundantly clear that the prohibition of unlawful assembly and movement in terms of the relevant order will not affect the usual life of citizens as they go about their business and chores. The prohibition in the above referred order, shall not deter friends and family congregating together to go to vote and celebrate the festival of democracy in proper spirit,” the DM’s order stated.

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 4:23:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/puducherry-assembly/puducherry-district-collector-clarifies-prohibitory-order-will-not-affect-normal-life/article34242919.ece

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