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The fact that the police are vested with power should not make them assume that, that power is available for exercise in any manner that they consider fit. That power is to be exercised strictly within the ambit of the provisions of the Constitution, more particularly, the requirement that any restriction placed on the exercise of fundamental rights should be a reasonable restriction, and the restrictions so placed should be shown to be essential, having regard to the permissible purpose for which restrictions may be imposed.
This Court, while analysing the case, held that the meeting which the petitioner had wanted to hold was to have been held on the 19th January, well over a year ago, and the authorities ought not to have refused permission mechanically. They should be in a position to satisfy the Court that such refusal falls strictly within the ambit of the permissible grounds for restricting the exercise of fundamental rights under Article 19 of the Constitution. A mere apprehension that some disturbance may be caused in the meeting place would not be sufficient.
If, at the meeting, such police officers were to find that anything illegal was being done, it would be open to them to take such further action as may be considered necessary in the circumstances. A blanket order refusing to permit the meeting to be held is not the method of relating the exercise of fundamental rights of freedom of speech, expression and assembly.
Thomas and the other by F. In all such cases and in any other fit and proper case a High Court can, in the exercise of its jurisdiction under Articleissue a writ of mandamus or a writ in the nature of mandamus or pass orders and give directions to compel the performance in a proper and lawful manner of the discretion conferred upon the Government or a public authority, and in a proper case, in order to prevent injustice resulting to the parties concerned, the court may itself pass an order or give directions which the Government or the public authority should have passed or given had it properly and lawfully exercised its discretion.
It is true, in the instant case, the demonstration sought to be made by the petitioner is against the administrative action of the State authorities in suspending an I. Officer, for furnishing alleged community certificate.
The Constitution specifically mandates that no authority can prohibit a democratic activity, unless it is prohibited under Article 19 2 and such law imposes a reasonable restriction on the exercise of the right conferred in the interests of sovereignty and integrity of India, security of the State, friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement to an offence.
When such a prohibition is not warranted, the authorities have no manner of right to deny or deprive any democratic process. Law is well settled, as pronounced by the Supreme Court as well as this Court, that reasonable restrictions for the purpose mentioned in Article 19 2 alone can be the reasons to refuse such a permission.
A circumspection and clear analysis of the case on hand would not give any such impression for this Court that the demonstration contemplated by the petitioner is against any particular administrative function or otherwise, but, instead, they aim to protest against the action of the Government. If such permission is granted, it is always open for the authorities to regulate the same and also anything illegal being done and they can have every right to proceed against the perpetrators.
Selvam and another ; "5. Ambedkar birth anniversary and award giving fuunction from the year For conducting procession on A show cause notice was issued on Time was granted to give objection up to No order having been passed and The learned Judge passed orders granting permission to conduct procession and award giving function by fixing time i.
The leader of the party, who was present in the Court gave an undertaking to control the entire cadre while conducting processing and meeting and his undertaking was also recorded in the order.
The police was directed to provide adequate protection to avoid untoward incidents. The appellants cannot deny the right of the people though discretion is vested with them under Section 41 of the Chennai City Police Act, In Chennai City sufficient police force is available to meet any eventuality. Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabadit is held that although right to hold a public meeting at a public place may not be a fundamental right by itself, yet it is so closely connected with fundamental right that a power to regulate it should not be left in a nebulous state.
Article 19 1 a of the Constitution of India guarantees to all citizen the right to freedom of speech and expression subject to reasonable restrictions on the grounds set out under Article 19 2.
The reasonable limitations can be put in the interest of sovereignity and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order, decency or morality or in relation to contempt of court, defamation or incitement of an offence.
In the decision reported in 2 SCC S. Jagjivan Ram in paragraph 53 the Supreme Court held thus, " Freedom of expression which is legitimate and constitutionally protected, cannot be held to ransom by an intolerant group of people. The fundamental freedom under Article 19 1 a can be reasonably restricted only for the purposes mentioned in Article 19 2 and the restriction must be justified on the anvil of necessity and not the quicksand of convenience or expediency.
Open criticism of government policies and operations is not a ground for restricting expression. We must practice tolerance to the views of others.
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Intolerance is as much dangerous to democracy as to the person himself" In the decision reported in 5 SCC 1 Ramlila Maidan Incident, In Re the Supreme Court held that the Freedom of speech, right to assemble and demonstrate by holding dharnas and peaceful agitations are the basic features of democratic system.
In para the Supreme Court held thus, " The people of a democratic country like ours have a right to raise their voice against the decisions and actions of the Government or even to express their resentment over the actions of the Government on any subject of social or national importance.
The Government has to respect and, in fact, encourage exercise of such rights. It is the abundant duty of the State to aid the exercise of the right to freedom of speech as understood in its comprehensive sense and not to throttle or frustrate exercise of such rights by exercising its executive or legislative powers and passing orders or taking action in that direction in the name of reasonable restrictions.
The preventive steps should be founded on actual and prominent threat endangering public order and tranquillity, as it may disturb the social order. This delegated power vested in the State has to be exercised with great caution and free from arbitrariness. It must serve the ends of the constitutional rights rather than to subvert them. Thus, the right of the citizens to conduct procession and public meeting cannot be curtailed, except on definite reasons and not on mere surmises.
In the Division Bench Judgment of this Court reported in CDJ MHC cited supra freedom to conduct meeting on a sensitive issue was considered and this Court directed to grant permission to hold the meeting and the police were directed to provide adequate protection for the smooth conduct of the meeting. The decision cited by the learned Advocate General reported in 4 SCC supra was rendered when the prohibitory order imposed under section of the Crl.
The said facts are entirely different from the fact of this case. Considering the above principles in mind as well as the claim made by the respondents in these writ appeals that they are organising procession and award giving function on the birth anniversary day of Dr. The change of timing will avoid the persons participating in the procession going to the place of meeting straight away as there will be a brake of 4.
The police are directed to regulate traffic and permit the writ petitioners to conduct procession and meeting as aforesaid. The conditions imposed by the learned single Judge in his order dated It is needless to reiterate that while conducting procession during the above said time and conduct of meeting, the organisers should see that no untoward incident is allowed to happen and if any violation of the undertaking given by the organisers or by any other person, the appellants are entitled to deal with them to preserve maintenance of peace and tranquility and it is open to them to initiate appropriate action against the violators, in accordance with law.
Government of Tamil Nadu and others ; " This Court, after considering various situations, particularly when there was a request for re-post mortem of the body of the deceased Elavarasan and the same was also allowed by this Court to be conducted by the Doctors from All India Institute of Medical Sciences AIIMSNew Delhi and thereafter, funeral ceremony will be scheduled to be held on the date fixed by the family members of the deceased Elavarasan, is of the view that it is for the District Magistrate to take decision on the representations received from several political leaders including the petitioner, expeditiously, so that actus curiae neminem gravabit, which means, an act of law does no wrong.
In the meantime, a representation vide telegram dated Since the petitioner is a Member of Parliament, espousing the cause of Dalit community and assured of maintaining public tranquility in the District, it would be appropriate to direct the second respondent to consider the request of the petitioner, taking into account the prevailing situation.
Consequently, connected miscellaneous petitions are closed. On the other hand, Mr. Jayaprakash Narayanan, learned Special Government Pleader, while strongly objecting to the relief sought for by the petitioner in the writ petition, vehemently contended that if the petitioner's party is granted permission to conduct procession and public meeting, the party cadres will definitely indulge in such activities prejudicial to the interest of the public peace and tranquillity.
The respondents also apprehend that grant of permission will lead to severe law and order problem in that area owing to ensuing festivals like Christmas and New Year. Learned Special Government Pleader has also contended that there will be definite traffic congestion due to the proposed procession and moreover, hospital is located near the place where the proposed meeting is going to be organised. Hence, learned Special Government Pleader prays for dismissal of the writ petition in limine.
In response to the above submission, learned Senior Counsel for the petitioner submits that since procession and meeting are to be held on Sunday, there will be less traffic congestion and public movement, and that normally, shops will be kept closed in the evening hours of Sundays, no untoward incident will take place in the event of granting permission to conduct procession and public meeting.
Learned Special Government Pleader, in order to substantiate his stand, has relied on the following judgments: Praveen Bhai Thogadia ; "8.
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The High Court in our view should not have glossed over these basic requirements, by saying that the people of the locality where the meeting was to be organised were sensible and not fickle minded to be swayed by the presence of any person in their amidst or by his speeches. Such presumptive and wishful approaches at times may do greater damage than any real benefit to individual rights as also the need to protect and preserve law and order.
The Court was not acting as an appellate authority over the decision of the official concerned. Unless the order passed is patently illegal and without jurisdiction or with ulterior motives and on extraneous considerations of political victimisation of those in power, normally interference should be the exception and not the rule.
The Court cannot in such matters substitute its view for that of the competent authority. Our country is the world's most heterogeneous society, with rich heritage and our Constitution is committed to high ideas of socialism, secularism and the integrity of the nation.
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As is well known, several races have converged in this sub-continent and they carried with them their own cultures, languages, religions and customs affording positive recognition to the noble and ideal way of life - 'Unity in Diversity'. Though these diversities created problems, in early days, they were mostly solved on the basis of human approaches and harmonious reconciliation of differences, usefully and peacefully.
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That is how secularism has come to be treated as a part of fundamental law, and an unalignable segment of the basic structure of the country's political system. As noted in S. Union of India etc. Therefore, from the point of view of the State, religion, faith or belief of a particular person has no place and given no scope for imposition on individual citizen.
Unfortunately, of late vested interests fanning religious fundamentalism of all kinds vying with each other are attempting to subject the constitutional machinaries of the State to great stress and strain with certain quaint ideas of religious priorities, to promote their own selfish ends, undettered and unmindful of the disharmony it may ultimately bring about and even undermine national integration achieved with much difficulties and laudable determination of those strong spirited savants of yester years.
Religion cannot be mixed with secular activities of the State and fundamentalism of any kind cannot be permitted to masquerade as political philosophies to the detriment of the larger interest of society and basic requirement of a welfare State. Religion sans spiritual values may even be perilous and bring about chaos and anarchy all around. It is, therefore, imperative that if any individual or group of persons, by their action or caustic and inflammatory speech are bent upon sowing seed of mutual hatred, and their proposed activities are likely to create disharmony and disturb equilibrium, sacrificing public peace and tranquility, strong action, and more so preventive actions are essentially and vitally needed to be taken.
Any speech or action which would result in ostracization of communal harmony would destroy all those high values which the Constitution aims at. Welfare of the people is the ultimate goal of all laws, and State action and above all the Constitution. They have one common object, that is to promote well being and larger interest of the society as a whole and not of any individual or particular groups carrying any brand names.
It is inconceivable that there can be social well being without communal harmony, love for each other and hatred for none. The chore of religion based upon spiritual values, which the Vedas, Upanishad and Puranas were said to reveal to mankind seem to be -"Love others, serve others, help ever, hurt never" and "Sarvae Jana Sukhino Bhavantoo".
Oneupship in the name of religion, whichever it be or at whomsoever's instance it be, would render constitutional designs countermanded and chaos, claiming its heavy toll on society and humanity as a whole, may be the inevitable evil consequences, whereof. Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mannargudi and another; " Maintenance of law and order is ordinarily an executive function and it is ordinarily not proper for the judiciary to interfere in this matter.
The administrative authorities have expertise in law and order problems through their long experience and training, and the Courts should not ordinarily interfere in such type of matters.
The judiciary must therefore exercise self-restraint and not try to interfere with the functions of the executive or the legislature. By exercising self-restraint it only enhances its prestige. This Court should not ordinarily interfere in administrative matters, since the administrative authorities are specialists in matters relating to the administration.
The court does not have the expertise in such matters, and ordinarily should leave such matters to the discretion of the administrative authorities. It is only in rare and exceptional cases, where the Wednesbury principle applies, that the Court should interfere, vide Tata Cellular vs. Union of India2 SCCetc. Thus, both the rights of freedom of speech and expression and the right to assemble peaceably are subject to reasonable restrictions from the point of view of public order, security of State, etc.
It is thus evident that public order is a matter within the domain of the State Legislature and the State Executive. That being so, it is not proper for the Judiciary to interfere in matters relating to public order, unless there is violation of some constitutional or statutory provision. There are various considerations for the administration in this matter and the Court should not ordinarily interfere with administrative decisions in this connection.
It must be remembered that certain matters are by their very nature such as had better be left to the experts in the field instead of the courts themselves seeking to substitute their own views and perceptions as to what is the best way to deal with the situation.
In the present case, this Court should not interfere in a matter which relates to the administration, which is in the best position to know about the public order. What public order problem would arise if speeches are permitted or prohibited in connection with the arrest of Sankarachariyar and other incidental matters?
How should the problem be tackled? It is the administration that best knows these problems and their solution. This Court should therefore exercise self-restraint and should n ot embarrass the administrative authorities in this connection.
Under our Constitution the Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive have their own broad spheres of operation. It is important that these organs do not encroach on each others proper spheres and confine themselves to their own, otherwise there will always be danger of a reaction.
Of the three organs of the State, it is only the judiciary which has the right to determine the limits of jurisdiction of all these three organs.
The judiciary must therefore exercise self-restraint and eschew the temptation to act as a super legislature or a Court of Appeal sitting over the decisions of the administrative authorities. By exercising self-restraint it will enhance its own respect and prestige. Five men who were suspected to be involved in two major bank robberies in Chennai earlier this year were killed in an encounter with police early this morning. Human rights activists are crying foul over the encounter and have questioned the need to kill the suspects.
But police say the alleged robbers opened fire first and so they had to retaliate in self defence and to "save innocent lives. Close to 30 teams were formed to nab this gang.
Acting on a tip-off, a police team surrounded a house in the thickly-populated Velachery area of the city around 1 am and asked the suspects hiding inside to come out," Chennai Police Commissioner J K Tripathy said. He added that the suspects did not follow instructions and instead opened fire. Two inspectors and the five suspects were injured in the ensuing encounter. On being brought to hospital, the suspects were declared dead.
Top 10 facts on the robberies According to Chennai Police, eyewitnesses have confirmed that these men looted the two banks. It claims to have recovered 14 lakh rupees allegedly looted at gun point from the banks earlier this year. Pistols and weapons in possession of the armed robbers have also been seized, it added. Two daring daylight bank robberies were reported from Chennai earlier this year.
The first incident happened on January 23, when four armed men stormed the Bank of Baroda branch near Perungudi and escaped with Rs. Less than month later on February 20, another bank robbery took place in the city.
This time the target was a branch of public sector Indian Overseas Bank at Keelkattalai located on city outskirts.