Chennai

COVID-19 | Madras High Court bans protests, processions

The Madras High Court on Friday imposed a ban on all forms of protests, processions and demonstrations across the State until the threat of COVID-19 abates and directed the State government to issue an advisory, asking people to either postpone or reduce the gathering considerably, even in private functions such as marriages.

Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy issued the directions on a batch of cases filed against anti-CAA protests held across the State. One of those cases had sought for action against Tamil Nadu Thowheeth Jamath for having organised a ‘fill the jails’ protest near the High Court premises on Wednesday, despite the threat of the viral infection.

The senior judge in the Bench told lawyers that one of his acquaintances had postponed a marriage that had been fixed and hence it would be advisable if people avoid crowd in social gatherings. “The above mentioned directives are illustrative in nature as the spread of coronavirus shall not differentiate the nature of gatherings,” his order read.

The judges accepted a request made by advocate T. Mohan for a long adjournment of the batch of cases since a huge number of lawyers gather inside the court hall during every hearing and there was a threat of the infection spreading from one person to another. What applies to mass gatherings elsewhere should apply to court proceedings, he said.

Advice against travel

He said senior counsel M. Ajmal Khan from Madurai could not attend since there was an advice against travel. Similarly, senior advocate R. Vaigai and N.G.R. Prasad were over 65 and 80, respectively, and more susceptible to infection, he said. Justice Sundresh, in a lighter vein, said, “we are not willing to agree Mr. Prasad is old. He is eternally young.”

Later, the judges adjourned the cases to April 21 and hoped that the situation might improve by then.

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 5:05:56 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/hc-bans-protests-processions/article31123254.ece

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