Nod for protest can’t be given as prohibitory orders in place, police inform HC
The Delhi Police told the Delhi high court that AAP MLAs Raghav Chadha and Atishi Marlena cannot be granted permission to protest outside the residences of home minister Amit Shah and lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal as political gatherings are prohibited by the state disaster management authority, DDMA, till January 31.
The police also said their commissioner had taken out a standing order in 2018 with respect to the protests at important places in accordance to the orders passed by the Supreme Court. They added that prohibitory orders have been issued under Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) for the entire central Delhi where the two residences are located.
The submissions of the police came in response to a plea by two AAP leaders, challenging the denial of permission by the police to hold protests outside the homes of Shah and Baijal.
The matter was listed on Thursday before justice Prathiba M Singh but no hearing took place as the counsel for the police had sought an adjournment as the proceedings were to be held in person at the court. The counsel urged the court to list the matter for hearing via video conferencing.
In their affidavit, the police have also said protests in the national capital can only be held at two locations -- Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan -- which are designated for the purpose and nowhere else.
However, in view of the DDMA notification of September 2020, which was extended from time to time and now stands extended till January 31, no political gatherings of any number of persons is permitted in the national capital.
Both AAP MLAs wanted to stage a sit-in protest outside the residences of Shah and Baijal on December 13, 2020, to protest against the alleged misappropriation of funds by the North Delhi Municipal Corporation, but they were denied permission. They were detained by police the same day along with some other AAP leaders, for attempting to protest at the two sites.