Tamil Nadu

High Court begins hearing cases for and against anti-CAA protests

The Madras High Court on Wednesday began hearing a batch of cases filed for and against the ongoing anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act protests across the State. Emotions ran high on the first day of hearing, with a huge number of lawyers entering into loud arguments inside a packed court hall and the judges having to request them to calm down and assist the court in taking the right decision.

Also read | Tamil Nadu CM asks Muslims not to protest, promises protection for all

Appearing before Justices M.M. Sundresh and Krishnan Ramasamy, senior counsel R. Vaigai raised a preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of a public interest litigation petition filed by advocate K. Gopinath of the Hindu Munnetra Kazhagam (HMK) against the protests being held in Tiruppur. She said the petitioner was facing as many as 15 criminal cases and had suppressed those details before the court.

“I really wonder how the Registry numbered his petition. He can’t take the legal system to ransom. What bonafide does the petitioner [have] to knock at the doors of this court. I am raising a preliminary objection regarding the maintainability of this petition. This is a fraudulent PIL. It is going to give a very bad signal,” the senior counsel said and urged the court to permit all impleading petitioners to file their counter-affidavits.

On the other hand, advocate G. Karthikeyan said the anti-CAA protesters had no right to squat on public roads for days together and prevent free movement of traffic. “It should be nipped in the bud. If this is permitted, then they will also sit on the Beach Road, the Poonamallee High Road and everywhere,” he added.

Advocate N. Chandrasekhar echoed Mr. Karthikeyan’s view and claimed that 46 lives had been lost and properties worth several crores destroyed in Delhi [during the recent riots]. He said an identical situation may arise in Tamil Nadu if the police fail to take stringent action against the protesters and remove them from public roads. He alleged “total inaction” on the part of the State government and said anarchy was prevailing in Coimbatore, Pollachi and Tiruppur.

However, State Public Prosecutor A. Natarajan told the court that there had been no disturbance to law and order, and police had ensured protection to all.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2020 12:11:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/high-court-begins-hearing-cases-for-and-against-anti-caa-protests/article31044207.ece

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