Decks are cleared for the public meeting of Bharatiya Janata party at Hanamkonda on Saturday with the Telangana High Court on Friday instructing Warangal Police Commissioner Tarun Joshi to permit it.
Justice T. Vinod Kumar of the HC issued the direction after hearing a writ petition filed by BJP’s State unit by way of lunch motion. He directed the petitioner to approach the Commissioner with details of the number of people attending the meeting, time, place and areas earmarked for parking of vehicles.
Dictating the order after hearing extensive arguments of petitioner’s counsel J. Prabhakar seeking permission for the meet and Advocate General B.S. Prasad opposing the same, the judge said the police must ensure safe passage of ambulances during the meeting. The judge also suspended the prohibitory orders issued by the Commissioner the previous day along with the order of the Warangal DCP rejecting permission for the public meeting.
‘It appears that the Commissioner of Police of Warangal, who is under the control of Director General of Police, has been adopting delay tactics in dealing with the application of the petitioner seeking permission for the public meeting,” the judge said in the order. The judge observed that the court had taken note of the different meetings held recently which were addressed by the Head of the State and also a Union Minister.
Referring to the contention of the petitioner that the Principal of the University College of Arts and Science, Hanamkonda already accorded permission for the meeting, the AG said the principal had no such powers. The permission given by the principal was a mistake, he contended. The AG told the bench that holding the public meeting there would cause inconvenience to people as a scheduled examination was also being conducted there that day.
The petitioner’s counsel argued that refusal of permission for the meeting was an attempt to scuttle the freedom of opposition parties to express their views to public. This was violation of Article 19 of the Constitution, he argued.
Justice Vinod Kumar observed the government’s failure to formulate guidelines for exercising powers conferred under Hyderabad City Police Act and pointed out that if the prohibitory orders issued under the Act are to be in operation for more than a week, there must be government’s sanction for it.
This should also be informed to the people through publishing the same in Gazette. However, it was not done in the present case, the judge said.