Prosecute anyone indulging in any activity that creates law and order problem: Court.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday banned violent protests, dharnas, rallies, road/rail rokos or any activity over Neet examination issue which will result in law and order problem in Tamil Nadu in the aftermath of the suicide of dalit student Anitha.
In an interim order on a PIL filed by advocate G.S. Mani, a three-judge bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A.M. Kanwilkar and D.Y. Chadnrachud in its interim order, however, allowed peaceful protests without disturbing law and order.
“We may clearly state here that a peaceful protest or criticism or dissent is different than creation of a law and order situation. Every citizen of this country has a fundamental right to peacefully protest and demonstrate, but not to cause a situation that results in violence and paralyses the law and order situation,” it said.
The bench said “it is directed that it shall be the obligation of the chief secretary, the government of Tamil Nadu and the principal secretary, ministry of home, government of Tamil Nadu, to ensure that law and order is maintained throughout the state in the wake of the present situation in respect of the Neet examination. The chief secretary shall see to it that anyone involved in any kind of ‘bandh’ or activity that disrupts the normal life and detrimentally affects law and order in the State of Tamil Nadu, shall be booked under the appropriate law.”
The bench issued notices to the chief secretary and principal home secretary and directed listing the matter on September 18. The state advocate-general shall assist the court on that day.
The bench passed this order taking note of a similar interim direction given in 2007 to stop agitations in support of Sethusamudram project and a judgment of the Kerala high court banning rallies and bands, which was affirmed by the apex court.
Earlier, advocate Mani brought to the notice of the court that the situation in Tamil Nadu was precarious with various political parties, students and others resorting to all forms of agitations, demonstrations, human chain protest, road and rail rokos causing law and order problem and hardship to the people. He pointed out that in 2009 the apex court by an interim order stopped the DMK from staging a dharna in support of Sethusamudram project. As the present situation was tense the court could pass a similar order.
Advocate Mani said the agitation in Tamil Nadu against NEET, which had been upheld by this court, was very dangerous and State authority was unable to keep the law and order situation under control. He said these agitations are held for political mileage. Some of the political parties in the state of Tamil Nadu, instead approaching State authority to bring the standard of State syllabus equal to CBSE syllabus for Class XI & XII, they are instigating the innocent students and larger public to hold Protests.
The petitioner said one political party had announced that human chain protest to condemn the State government, which would be a dangerous game of spoiling the future of students of Tamil Nadu, he said and sought a direction to the State government to prevent such rallies and dharnas in any form.