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"There shall not be any protests/processions/demonstrations till the threat of Corona Virus abates", the Court has ordered.
The Madras High Court on Friday issued directions to ensure that no mass gatherings/demonstrations take place, including those for or against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, to guard against the risk of spreading the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The order was passed following an application made to adjourn a batch of petitions filed to prevent Anti-CAA agitations alleged to be without police permission for a period of three weeks, in view of the unprecedented health crisis caused by the coronavirus.
The Court was also told that the protests stood withdrawn in these circumstances. Moreover, the Public Prosecutor submitted that no demonstrations would be permitted during this time, in line with a Government Circular issued on Thursday.
This Circular directs the police to avoid granting permissions for mass gatherings and to advise the public against crowding in public places to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.
The Bench of Justices MM Sundaresh and Krishnan Ramaswamy, in turn, observed,
Therefore, it proceeded to issue the following directions:
There shall not be any protests/processions/demonstrations till the threat of Corona Virus abates.
If any such activity either goes on now or is started henceforth, the official respondents shall take appropriate steps to stop it.
The protests or assembly are not restricted to any single issue or group of persons and, therefore, to be made applicable to all.
The State Government may issue appropriate advisories not to have any functions during the interregnum.
Insofar as the marriages fixed already are concerned, the state Government may further give an advisory requesting the parties either to consider postponement or reduce the gathering.
The Court added,
The matter has been posted to be taken up next on April 21.