Hyderabad: Terming as vague the orders issued by the police commissioner who permitted the January 25 meeting being organised by the United Muslims Action Committee and the MIM at Khilwat ground, Justice Tadakamalla Vinod Kumar of the Telangana High Court on Friday laid down a series of conditions.
Justice Vinod Kumar told the organisers not to hold bike rallies or hoist the National Flag. He said the volume of the loudspeakers should be in consonance with the Supreme Court guidelines (75 decibels during the day and 65 dB at night in residential areas). He capped the number of participants at 3,500 and directed that the event be held between 6 pm an 11 pm.
The court was adjudicating on a petition by one T. Uma Mahendra, who sought directions to the police not to grant permission to hold midnight demonstrations at Charminar as well as three Lunch Motion petitions filed on Friday by the Swami Vivekanandha Youth Welfare Association and two others opposing holding the meeting at Khilwat ground.
The court faulted the police commissoner for not mentioning number of speakers at the meeting and the time frame. Justice Vinod Kumar also inquired with the government counsel whether or not the state had received intelligence alerts from the Union home ministry on the CAA and NRC. He also referred to the recent communal riots at Bhainsa.
Government counsel Sharat said the state had received some alerts from the Centre and state officials had discussed the issue with the Union home ministry.
Based on these, the organisers were told to change the venue to Khilwat grounds.
To this, Justice Vinod Kumar said, “Your contentions were the same when this court accorded permission for the rally and meeting on January 10, held by the same organisers, at Idgah Mir Alam. The police literally failed to control the mob and traffic went haywire, bringing the entire Old City to a grinding halt.
Moreover, the number of participants quoted by you (government counsel) was 1,000 whereas the mob swelled to nearly a lakh. The writ petition is still pending before me and this court will take judicial note of all the blatant violations of orders.”
Counsels for the petitioners opposed the permission accorded by the police commissioner to hold the meeting at Khilwat ground. They alleged that the police chief had been “very partisan” towards the organisers. They said the Khilwat ground is adjacent to the Charminar area, and holding a meeting there is equivalent to holding the meeting at Charminar.
They insisted that Justice Vinod Kumar direct the organisers to change the venue but the judge declined.
Counsels contended that the meeting may stretch into January 26, Republic Day, when the police will have to arrange foolproof security arrangements. If the police is made to work in such strenuous, arduous conditions, they will slip into frustration and it may affect their performance.