Tamil Nadu

HC seeks State’s response on pleas to evict anti-CAA ‘squatters’

Members of Pallavaram Ikkiya Jamath staging a protest.

Members of Pallavaram Ikkiya Jamath staging a protest.   | Photo Credit: B_VELANKANNI RAJ

You cannot try to satisfy both sides, judge tells govt. counsel

The Madras High Court on Monday sought the response of the State government and the police by March 9 to a couple of public interest litigation petitions that called for the eviction of all those who were protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act by squatting on public roads without police permission and causing inconvenience to the public.

When the petitions were listed before Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy, they wanted to know what action the police had taken so far on the issue. In reply, Government Advocate (criminal side) P. Kritika Kamal told the court that an FIR had been registered with regard to a protest near Salem old bus stand, against which one of the two PIL petitions had been filed.

Also Read: CAA | Tamil Nadu CM asks Muslims not to protest, promises protection for all

“Then, it is all the more a reason for you to act. You cannot try to satisfy both sides,” the senior judge on the Bench said and adjourned further hearing on the PIL petition to March 9 after Additional Government Pleader R. Vijay Kumar sought time for the appearance of Advocate General Vijay Narayan to argue the case on behalf of the State. The PIL petition regarding Dindigul had been filed by G. Kannan, a local resident.

His counsel G. Karthikeyan brought to the court’s notice that even at Mannady in Chennai an entire road had been blocked, though just three anti-CAA protesters were squatting there. He said that such incidents were happening across the State.

In yet another PIL petition, which had been listed before the Bench for deciding its maintainability, the petitioner M. Syed Ibrahim, an advocate, urged the court to ban all anti-CAA protests in the State. The petitioner claimed to have registered Tamil Nadu Egathuva Prachara Jamath in 2012 and to be supporting all good initiatives of the Centre as well as the State government. Referring to a violent clash between anti-CAA protesters and the police at Old Washermenpet on February 14 and the subsequent act of the protesters of squatting on public roads in many districts since then, he said that ordinary citizens were put to “wanton” inconvenience and loss.

Interesting read: State govt. can seek more clarity on CAA, says BJP

Yet another PIL petition filed by one Varaaki had urged the court to ban anti-CAA protests inside colleges and universities. The Bench adjourned this case to Wednesday at the request of a government counsel. In the meantime, the same individual filed a contempt of court petition too against A.K. Viswanathan, Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai and the leaders of Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam and Popular Front of India.

The petitioner claimed that a Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and R. Hemalatha had passed an interim order on February 18 banning the Federation of Tamil Nadu Islamic and Political Organisations from going ahead with its plan to lay siege to the Secretariat on February 19. Yet, the organisations took out a massive rally in the city on that day and the police did not prevent the protesters from participating in the rally, he alleged.

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Related Topics
Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 8:08:01 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-seeks-states-response-on-pleas-to-evict-anti-caa-squatters/article30966247.ece

Next Story