Prohibitory orders against anti-CAA protests on Dec 18 was illegal, says Karnataka High Court
The Karnataka high court ruled on Thursday that the prohibitory orders imposed in Bengaluru on December 18 to deter anti-CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) protests were illegal and asked the state government why it assumed that every protest will disturb public peace.
Chief Justice Abhay S Oka also asked why permission for the protest was cancelled overnight and held that the government could not provide sufficient grounds for clamping prohibitory orders in the city.
Bengaluru police commissioner had imposed Section 144 ahead of planned anti-CAA protests on December 18, 2019, citing a possible threat to peace and maintenance of law and order.
Congress Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Gowda, one of the petitioners in the case, tweeted his happiness at the ruling and said the Karnataka government needed to learn its lesson from it.
“Very happy to share that the Karnataka HC ruling on my PIL has held illegal the Sec 144 order imposed in Bengaluru. BJP government must learn to accept that peaceful protest is our fundamental right and desist from imposing illegal orders.”
A similar prohibitory order was imposed in Mangalore, which was violated by the anti-CAA protesters, resulting in violence and subsequent police firing in which two people were killed. An inquiry is ongoing in that matter.
Several opposition parties including the Congress have accused the Central government of alleged misuse of prohibitory orders to stifle democratic and peaceful protests.