Calcutta HC: Demand for a place like Delhi's Jantar Mantar in West Bengal too, Calcutta HC said- 'Why court on everything...' - Newztezz Online


Sunday, May 7, 2023

Calcutta HC: Demand for a place like Delhi's Jantar Mantar in West Bengal too, Calcutta HC said- 'Why court on everything...'

Calcutta High Court:
The Calcutta High Court has questioned why one has to approach the court every time to get permission to protest. In this matter, the court has raised questions on the government.

HC On Protests Against Government: Can Kolkata, which has been the center of famous anti-incumbency movements, be given a special place for the voice of the opposition on the lines of Jantar Mantar in the national capital Delhi? The issue came to the fore after the Calcutta High Court raised doubts about the transparency and fairness of the West Bengal administration in granting permission for protest rallies, political or non-political, especially when the rally is on issues that are against the views of the state government or the ruling party. going against

The Calcutta High Court has asked why individuals or organizations have to approach the court every time they seek permission to hold protests? The first such reference came to the High Court on May 2, when Justice Rajasekhar Mantha heard a case regarding permission to the West Bengal State Coordination Committee, a union of state government employees affiliated to the CPI(M), to march to the Secretariat on May 4. were hearing. 

Will the ruling party ban rallies as well?

Justice Rajasekhar questioned the state government's reluctance in allowing the peaceful agitation. This march was in protest against the increased dearness allowance of the state government and the delay in payment of its arrears. Justice Mantha questioned that it is the democratic right of every Indian citizen to protest peacefully. Why do protesting bodies have to approach the court every time? Later, accepting the changed route of the rally instead of the route proposed by the trade union, Justice Mantha asked whether the state government would impose similar restrictions in the case of rallies of the ruling party.

Refusal to accept the state government's plea 

Justice Mantha took a tough stand two days later on May 4, refusing to accept the state government's plea for a change in the route of a similar protest rally by the Joint Forum of Employees on May 6. The government had argued that the proposed route was near the residences of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee. Not a single leader of Trinamool Congress is officially ready to say anything openly in the media in this matter. He says that commenting on the court order is against the party's policy.

A senior member of the West Bengal cabinet said on condition of anonymity that the administration may have its own reasons for denying permission, on security and administrative grounds. He said that this happens many times. Calcutta High Court advocate and CPI(M) Rajya Sabha member Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya said it is quite unfortunate that in cases seeking court's permission to take out rallies or hold meetings or meetings after the administration has refused them Have to appear as a lawyer again and again.

'Jantar Mantar special place for opposition's voice'

Bhattacharya said that this happens not only for political programmes, but also in the case of programs of non-political bodies. Earlier this was not the case in West Bengal. This trend started after Trinamool Congress came to power in 2011. They do not want to give any space to the opposition, be it political or non-political. He said that Jantar Mantar in New Delhi can be considered as a better example of a special place for the voice of the opposition.

'Government does not give permission for rallies against it'

He said, Jantar Mantar being located in the national capital, the attention of the international community is always there. Therefore, many times the rulers sitting in power hesitate to suppress the voice of the opposition there. Jantar Mantar has proved to be an ideal place for the voice of the opposition. BJP state spokesperson Samik Bhattacharya agreed that the state government is generally reluctant to allow rallies or public meetings on any issue that goes against it. He said that the administration is particularly aggressive when a rally or meeting is organized by the BJP or any other organization affiliated to it.

Trinamool Congress government made this allegation

Bhattacharya said, look at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. These days it has become a permanent center of protest against our party or the central government. But any protesting organisation- political or non-political, cannot complain of denial of permission to protest there. Here in West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress government was earlier reluctant to allow any opposition rally or public meeting. Later he started softening towards CPI(M). It is a ploy by the Chief Minister to project the CPI(M) as an equal opposition to the BJP, so as to split the anti-incumbency vote in the state.

Permission is granted on first come first serve basis

Calcutta High Court lawyer Kaushik Gupta said that by unnecessarily denying permission, the state government is forcing the matter to drag in the court. Gupta said, 'Remember, any litigation involves costs and the state government has to bear the cost of such litigation from taxpayers' money. I wonder why the state government is not accepting Justice Mantha's suggestion for online application for public rallies or meetings, where permission is given on first come first serve basis.' Justice Mantha suggested that the public can also see the status of the application for transparency.

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