Chennai: The Madras high court has said the authorities are bound by the earlier direction of the court clearly stating that no meetings or protests can be allowed in Marina.
A division bench comprising Justices S. Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad made the observation while dismissing a Public Interest Litigation from K.Harikrishnan, which sought to restrain the authorities from allowing social organisations, political parties and registered associations in publishing in the social media, websites, pamphlets and other mode of publications of choosing Marina beach as their venue for their intended protest and rallies in violation of the order of the court dated September 3, 2018.
The bench said a division bench of this court in its order dated September 3, 2018 made it clear that no meetings or protests can be allowed on Marina. The authorities are bound by the direction. The petitioner has not produced any document to show that an application was made to the authorities seeking permission for conducting meeting, the bench added and dismissed the PIL as not maintainable.
Petitioner’s counsel Rajasekhar submitted that in view of the various agitations conducted at the Marina beach were causing havoc to the general public, tourists and also to vehicular traffic in the area and taking into consideration maintenance of law and order problem, the Commissioner of Police had prohibited the Marina Beach area for conducting such meetings in the year 2017 itself. The court by order dated April 28, 2018 allowed a petition filed by one Ayyakannu to conduct "fasting struggle" on the Marina Beach. Aggrieved, the authorities preferred an appeal and this court by order dated September 3, 2018 had categorically held that the Commissioner of Police alone was entitled to identify certain locations for the purpose of holding processions and meetings and set aside the earlier order.
As per the order passed in the appeal, no parties entitled to choose the place of their convenience for holding meetings or for organising any rallies on the Marina Beach. However, the Marina Beach was being misused by various political parties, social organisations and registered organisations under the pretext of right to protest or hold public meetings on the Marina Beach without obtaining any permission or appropriate orders from the statutory authorities. According to the petitioner's discreet enquiries conducted in May first week, organisations without any permission or representation to the statutory authorities were issuing pamphlets to the general public as if the authorities have given permission to conduct meeting on the Marina Beach and hence the petitioner gave a representation to the authorities on June 1 requesting them not to allow any kind of protest or meeting in the Marina Beach. Since there was no response, the petitioner filed the present PIL, Rajasekhar added....