'Rs 10 lakh bond for anti-CAA protests illogical'

'Rs 10 lakh bond for anti-CAA protests illogical, undemocratic'

Representative image.

Bengaluru police’s decision to demand a Rs 10-lakh bond to rein in anti-CAA protests has come under criticism from legal luminaries, a noted Kannada writer and a former minister. 

In a joint statement, former additional advocate general H G Shivanna, high court advocate H D Amaranath, advocate Dhananjaya, Kannada writer K Marulasiddappa, former chairperson of the Kannada Development Authority S G Siddaramaiah and former minister Prof B K Chandrashekar called the hike in the bond “illogical and unnecessary” and slammed the “mechanical” functioning of the city police. 

“The Constitution of India clearly upholds the fundamental principle that a civilised society has every right to non-violent protest. The Supreme Court, while stating this in the Jammu and Kashmir lockdown case of January 10, 2020, has conveyed the crucial message that it is “against the law to impose Section 144 mechanically” to prevent (the) expression of dissent and (the) organising of public meetings. Section 144 can be imposed only when there is a clear indication of violence, incitement to riots, (a) threat to public safety or danger. There is no room in (the) law for orders based on mere speculation. It is the duty of the police to control protests when they turn violent. If they are unable to carry out this duty and prevent damage to or loss of public property, it only shows up the inefficiency of the police,” the statement reads. 

The statement further said: “If the Rs 10-lakh bond rule is implemented, only the very rich organisers will have the right to protest. As for the rest — Dalits, progressives and cultural organisations — they will just have to shut up. Is this the real agenda of the police?” 

The signatories, however, expressed confidence that the state government would not take such a stand and urged the chief minister to instruct the police not to implement this “undemocratic” decision. 

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