Protests, demonstrations prohibited in Chennai for 15 days

Order is politically motivated, says advocate R. Vaigai

Updated - January 15, 2020 02:34 am IST

Published - January 15, 2020 01:12 am IST - Chennai

Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan. File

Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan. File

Police Commissioner A.K. Viswanathan has promulgated an order under Section 41 of Tamilnadu City Police Act 1888, regulating/prohibiting assemblies, processions, fasts, demonstrations, human chain and meetings within the city for 15 days from Monday.

The order said Mr. Viswanathan had acted on reports that fasts, protests, demonstrations were likely to be held in city’s thoroughfares, which may result in obstruction to free flow of traffic, cause inconvenience to general public/VIPS and disruption of law and order.

However, senior advocate R. Vaigai said, “There seems to be no application of mind in this. It seems to be a politically motivated, blanket prohibition that has been issued. I don’t think it is legally tenable at all. It is a blanket order which does not give any reason for its promulgation. The Commissioner’s order does not actually say that there is any threat to public peace or safety on account of events that are proposed.”

This order shall not apply to any assembly or procession or demonstration for which permission had already been granted.

“Any assembly or procession purely for the purpose of taking part in sports, or on occasion of wedding, funeral or similar domestic occurrence will not come under the regulation.” The order further said “applicants are advised to apply for grant of permission at least five days in advance.”

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