Public meetings on roads and the law: India

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No public meetings on roads: Kerala HC

From the archives of The Times of India 2007, 2009


The Kerala HC has imposed a ban on holding of public meeting along roadsides across the state.

The order came on Wednesday on a petition filed by a resident from Alwaye near Kochi against the frequent public meetings by political parties and other groups on the PWD road in front of the Alwaye railway station. The meetings blocked traffic in the area.

Taking note of the situation, the HC said the government should allow holding of public meets only on holidays in playgrounds of educational institutions under state control or open spaces elsewhere. ‘‘It is risky to hold public meetings on roadsides as any rashly driven vehicle will lead to casualities,’’ a division bench of justice C N Ramachandran Nair and justice P S Gopinath observed.

The decision has, however, come in for sharp criticism from the political parties. While the ruling Left Democratic Front termed the order an attempt to ‘‘gag freedom of expression’’, oppostionCongress and BJP called it ‘‘impractical’’. TNN

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