HC directs police to videograph DMK anti-CAA rally

The Madras high court directed the Tamil Nadu police to take videos using drones if necessary in order to hold leaders of political parties liable in case of unlawful incidents
Last Updated 23 December 2019, 12:43 IST

Chennai The Madras High Court has directed videographing of DMK's proposed rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act on Monday if the party goes ahead with it despite denial of permission by the police.

It gave the interim direction late Sunday night on PILs opposing the rally after the Tamil Nadu government counsel informed that police have denied permission for the protest as there was no firm commitment from the organisers on owning responsibility in case of any violence and damage to property.

A bench of Justices S Vaidyanathan and P T Asha, however, declined to stop the rally, saying a peaceful demonstration cannot be prevented in a democratic country as it was the backbone of the democratic set up.

Petitioners R Varaaki and R Krishnamoorthy sought to restrain the DMK from organising the protest rally, contending that such "unlawful" demonstrations would affect the life of public and can turn violent and cause unrest as in similar rallies in various other places, including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

When the matter was taken up for urgent hearing, the government pleader submitted the DMK had given only evasive replies to queries regarding the number of people taking part in the rally and the name of the person, who is going to take the responsibility in case of any untoward incident and destruction of public property.

The court noted that a peaceful demonstration cannot be prevented in a democratic country as it was the backbone of the democratic set up. "From the reply given by the respondents, it could be seen that the political party, which is scheduled to conduct the rally/procession/ protest, is reluctant to take on responsibility.

However, according to us, the queries raised by the Police are indeed very relevant, it said. The evasive manner in which a responsible political party has answered the queries gives rise to a doubt in the mind of the court that the leaders, who are spearheading the agitation, are reluctant to take responsibility in the event of any damage to the public property or any incident.

The bench then directed the police to videograph the protest and also use drone cameras, if necessary, so that the liability can be fixed on the leaders of the political parties sponsoring the rally in case of unlawful incidents.

It posted the matter to December 30 for further hearing. The DMK and its alliance parties had last week announced that they will take out a mega rally here on December 23 (Monday) against the Citizenship Amendment Act.

(Published 23 December 2019, 04:37 IST)

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