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Monday, January 30, 2023

Amid a ban on rallies in Andhra, the police allowed Lokesh to march on foot.

World NewsIndia NewsAmid a ban on rallies in Andhra, the police allowed Lokesh to march on foot.

The Andhra Pradesh police on Monday allowed Telugu Desam Party general secretary Nara Lokesh to hold his statewide padayatra, even as the state high court overturned a government order (GO) restricting public rallies and roadside meetings. Refused to extend stay on enforcement.

Lokesh has announced to start a 4,000-km pada yatra from January 27 starting from his father and TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu’s home assembly constituency Kapam. It will last for 400 days and will end at Achapuram in Srikakulam district.

While granting the permission, Chittoor Superintendent of Police Y Rishant Reddy said that Lokesh should strictly follow the restrictions imposed under the latest GO and should not make any inflammatory comments against the government or anyone. “If he violates any of these conditions, the police will take strict action as per law,” the SP said.

Meanwhile, a division bench of the state high court headed by Chief Justice Prashant Kumar Mishra refused to grant an interim stay on the controversial government order (GO No. 1) banning public rallies and roadside meetings.

The case, based on a public interest litigation filed by Communist Party of India (CPI) state secretary K Ramakrishna, was fixed for further hearing on Tuesday.

The GO was issued after 11 people died in two separate incidents of stampede during Chandrababu Naidu’s public meetings in Kundukuru and Guntur city of Nellore district on December 28 and January 1 respectively.

Senior advocate Vedyanathan, arguing for the state government, said the GO was only a prohibitive measure to organize public meetings and not a ban as alleged by the petitioners.

The High Court bench found fault with the vacation bench and the petitioners as to the urgency in taking the lunch motion in the case. An official statement by the government, quoting the chief justice, read, “Going to the root of the ownership of this case, it did not seem to be of such an urgent nature.”

The Chief Justice inquired whether the petitioner had staged any dharna or protest that he had to file a lunch motion before the vacation bench. The court questioned that ‘if the order is not upheld in favor of the petitioner, what was the need for it?’

The state argued that the government has issued this decision in a clear balance between the fundamental rights of citizens and public interest. It states that “no citizen has the right to claim that he has a fundamental right to hold a meeting on a public road”.

“The State Government has not banned any rally on public roads. It has only regulated it with guidance on parameters. There is no ban on processions and road shows. The petitioner has also not claimed that Public processions and road shows are prohibited,” argued the state government counsel.

It said that the Supreme Court has also upheld the power of the state to regulate the subject in the interests of public safety and public order. “The state has already appointed a commission of inquiry on the subject. We are awaiting its report,” he said.

TDP spokesperson Kumareddy Patabhi said the state government had misled the court by saying that there was no ban on street rallies and public meetings.

“The GO clearly mentions that meetings and rallies should not be allowed on roads, including state and national highways, which are against the fundamental rights of people. We hope that the Chief Justice Bench of the High Court will consider this. will consider and give a favorable decision.


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