Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on GO-1, vis-à-vis curbs on public meetings on roads in the state. The hearing of the case was completed and the verdict would be delivered in a week’s time.
A division bench of Chief Justice Prashant Mishra held hearings here on a batch of petitions challenging the GO-1. The bench again expressed its displeasure on the vacation bench’s interim order imposing a stay on the GO and said it knew what happened on the day the vacation bench issued the interim order.
The division bench would however not disclose such matters, keeping in mind the need to protect the “sanctity and honour” of the judiciary. However, the bench observed that if it had failed to make a mention of this, as it did, it might cause trouble to the future Chief Justices.
The bench said two paras in the roster fixed by the CJ on administrative grounds were changed, resulting in a change in the original roster. It wondered as to why some political parties were making a hue and cry over GO-1 as if somebody’s house was on fire.
Siddarth Luthra, counsel for one of the petitioners and TD leader Kollu Ravindra, argued that only the police were having the authority to regulate public meetings, rallies and dharnas and “the state government has no say on it.”
He submitted that the recent stampedes took place as the police failed to provide proper security during the public meetings of the TD.
BJP leader Kanna Lakshminarayana’s counsel T Sridhar argued that the political parties were having the right to protest in different forms and denial of such right was not good for the society.
Counsel for AP Congress chief Gidugu Rudra Raju, Ravi Sankar, argued that prime ministers and chief ministers had taken out several padayatras held roadshows, including present chief minister Jagan Reddy. The DGP must act independently to issue permission for public meetings, he said.
CPI secretary Ramakrishna’s counsel Ashwani Kumar said the vacation bench was having discretion to hear urgent cases.
Advocate general Sriram submitted that the state government was having no intention to impose a ban on rallies and roadshows. He said that it was having a responsibility to provide protection to the people. The state government would take a decision based on circumstances and even issued permission for TD leader Nara Lokesh to take out a padayatra, he said....