Togadia's entry banned to maintain law and order, HC told

Togadia's entry banned to maintain law and order, HC told

Togadia's entry banned to maintain law and order, HC told

Advocate General (AG) Ravivarma Kumar on Thursday submitted to the High Court that VHP international working president Praveen Togadia was a dangerous man who could disrupt the communal harmony in the State through his provocative speeches. 

The AG said that there were chances that people could indulge in violence within minutes of Togadia’s speech and could resort to sending provocative Whatsapp messages. As the legislature session was underway in the City, banning Togadia’s entry was the only way to maintain law and order, the AG said. 

Defending the order passed by the Bengaluru City police commissioner, imposing Section 144(3) CrPC on Togadia to ban him from entering the jurisdiction of the City police, Kumar said that the decision to impose the ban was taken after going through the history of his speeches which had created communal clashes in the past. There were at least 19 cases booked against him for making such speeches, he submitted.    

During the hearing of the petition filed by the top VHP leader, seeking directions to quash the order passed by the police commissioner, senior counsel B V Acharya, appearing for Togadia, said that banning his entry was against the fundamental right of an Indian citizen and against the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and expression and that nobody could curtail these rights. 

To this, the AG said that no Indian citizen had the right to destroy communal harmony. Acharya said that Togadia was ready for an undertaking that he would not deliver any provocative speech and that the entire event could be videotaped and produced before the court.

Acharya, in his submission, said that the police commissioner did not have the authority to impose Section 144(3) on Togadia, as the ban could be imposed only by the State government in exceptional cases. The AG said that the police commissioner had the powers of an executive magistrate. To maintain law and order in the City, he could exercise his power to impose such a ban, he said. Justice S Abdul Nazeer posted the matter for orders on Friday.

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