Bengaluru

HC initiates suo motu PIL on frequent traffic jams due to protests

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday suo motu initiated a PIL petition on huge traffic jams caused due to frequent protests, demonstrations and rallies held on public roads in the heart of the city, resulting in severe hardship to the citizens.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice S.Vishwajith Shetty passed the order while treating a letter, written by Justice Aravind Kumar, one of the senior judges of the High Court, to the Chief Justice on traffic jams caused due to protests, as a PIL petition.

The letter referred to the reports published in a Kannada daily highlighting how public life was paralysed for long hours due to huge traffic jams during peak hours due to protests and demonstrations held in the city on March 2 by workers of anganwadi and State public transport corporations.

Ease of living rank

While referring to the newspaper reports on Bengaluru being adjudged the most liveable large city in the country, as per the Ease of Living Index– 2020 released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, the Bench observed that it is all the more reason for the authorities to take necessary measures to ensure that the traffic is not affected because of such protests and demonstrations.

Observing that the right to protest peacefully is a fundamental right guaranteed to citizens under the Constitution of India, the Bench, referring to the apex court’s judgements, said the right to protest should not extend to affecting the rights of others.

Noticing that Bengaluru city has a dedicated place to hold protests and demonstrations at Freedom Park, the Bench pointed out the apex court’s judgement on devising mechanisms to regulate protests and demonstrations.

Dedicated place

While pointing that there are many such instances of traffic jams caused due to protests and demonstrations on public roads, the Bench also took note of the fact that authorities concerned are facing huge challenge to manage morning and evening peak-hour traffic in the city.

The Bench directed the registry to post the PIL for hearing by making the State government, the Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru, the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike, and all the leading political parties as respondents to the petition.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2021 3:14:32 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/hc-initiates-suo-motu-pil-on-frequent-traffic-jams-due-to-protests/article33998234.ece

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