Tamil Nadu

High Court rejects Ayyakannu’s plea to hold farmers’ protest

Wrong time: The judge told the petitioner’s counsel that it might not be conducive to permit protests when the COVID-19 lockdown was still in force.  

The Madras High Court on Monday dismissed as withdrawn a writ petition filed by farmers’ leader P. Ayyakannu seeking permission to stage a sit-in protest either at Chepauk or opposite the Secretariat in Chennai to press for various demands.

The litigant chose to withdraw the case after Justice T. Ravindran said he was not inclined to interfere with the permission rejection order passed by Greater Chennai Commissioner of Police Mahesh Kumar Agarwal on October 16.

The judge told petitioner’s counsel S. Muthukumar that it might not be conducive to permit protests and agitations when the lockdown to fight COVID-19 was still in force and not all restrictions on public congregations had been relaxed.

He advised the petitioner to make another application to the Commissioner of Police after a month. When counsel claimed that the police might reject that application too, the judge asked him to wait for the developments to take place and then approach the court if necessary.

He also stated that it was not necessary for the court to mention in writing that the petitioner would be at liberty to approach the police once again after a month since the petitioner would naturally have a right to make an application since the lockdown guidelines were being reviewed every month.

In his affidavit, Mr. Ayyakannu said that a majority of the farmers in the State had not been able to make profits for the last few years due to unavailability of sufficient rain water and also ground water. Nevertheless, banks were forcing them to repay loans, thereby adding to their misery.

Hence, an association led by him had been demanding waiver of all farm loans. It had also been impressing upon the need to interlink all rivers and ensure a fair return to the farmers on their produce since the profits were now being taken by middlemen and traders.

The proposed agitation was aimed at pressing these demands.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:49:20 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/high-court-rejects-ayyakannus-plea-to-hold-farmers-protest/article33164939.ece

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