`I' group rally: HC notice to DGP

KOCHI Nov. 13. A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court today issued notice to the Director General of Police, the Kochi City Police Commissioner and P.P. Thankachan, leader of the Karunakaran faction, on a writ petition against the rally proposed to be held by the `I' faction of the Congress on November 19 in Kochi..

The notice was issued by the bench comprising the Chief Justice, J.L. Gupta, and Justice K. Padmanabhan Nair. The petition was filed by the Kochi-based Institute of Social Welfare. When the petition was taken up, the Government Pleader submitted that he had contacted the police who said that till day, no application for permission for holding rally or use of loudspeakers at Marine drive had been received.

The court then adjourned the case to November 17 to enable the Government Pleader to get further instructions from the police in this regard. According to the petitioner , P.P. Thankachan, chairman of the organising committee, had declared that the rally would be attended by at least three lakh workers. It was also said that there was likelihood of postponing the date of the rally. If the rally was allowed, it would blatantly violate the conditions laid down by the court in the judgment banning bandh and would cause nuisance to the general public. The total length of the roads under the Cochin Corporation was 1,664 km. If three lakh people assembled on the roads, the local people will be adversely affected. Besides, it was not possible to take out vehicles after 3 p.m. As per a circular issued by the DGP in 2000, applications for licence to conduct processions or demonstrations which do not satisfy the period of advance notice stipulated by the Supreme Court must be rejected. After issuing licence to the applicant, copies of the same should be given to the concerned Sub-Divisional Officer and Circular Inspector of Police immediately. If any member of procession or demonstration violated the conditions stipulated in the licence, action should be taken as per law.

As per the Noise Pollution (Regulations and Control) Rules, 2000, usage of loudspeakers above certain prescribed noise level was prohibited in certain areas. In fact, most of the areas in the Corporation came within the Silent Zone.