Delhi High Court seeks response from Police in pleas by Atishi, Raghav Chadha for a four-people protest outside LG house, Amit Shah residence

Delhi High Court seeks response from Police in pleas by Atishi, Raghav Chadha for a four-people protest outside LG house, Amit Shah residence

The two petitions challenge Delhi Police's refusal to grant permission to the two legislators to sit on a dharna outside the L-G house and Home Minister residence.

The Delhi High Court today issued notice in petitions by Aam Aadmi Party legislators, Atishi Marlena and Raghav Chadha for permission to stage a four-people protest outside the residence of Union Home Minister, Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor, Anil Baijal. (Atishi vs Commissioner, Delhi Police) (Raghav Chadha vs Commissioner, Delhi Police)

The protest is directed against the alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs 2,500 crore by North Delhi Municipal Corporation.

A Single Judge Bench of Justice Navin Chawla sought a response from Delhi Police after hearing the counsel for the parties at length.

The two petitions challenge Delhi Police's refusal to grant permission to the two legislators to sit on the dharna.

Delhi High Court seeks response from Police in pleas by Atishi, Raghav Chadha for a four-people protest outside LG house, Amit Shah residence
Atishi, Raghav Chadha move Delhi High Court for permission to stage a four-people protest outside LG house, Amit Shah residence

Advocate Satvik Varma today clarified that through the two petitions, permission was being sought for two separate protests, one outside the house of the Home Minister and the other outside the house of the Lieutenant Governor.

"There is an alleged discrepancy in North MCD. We wish to demonstrate that. We are a handful of people.", Varma said.

Varma argued on the scope of the Supreme Court order on prohibition on protests in residential areas and said that the order was restricted to Jantar Mantar and not the entire city.

Challeging the Police's refusal to grant permission, Varma added that the order passed by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) on November 28, 2020, made a reference to the order of the Ministry of Home Affairs allowing political activities amid COVID-19.

"There has been a gradual opening up. Political congregations are allowed. I'm requesting that for a limited period, deal with me in parity with what everyone in the city is doing. I'm not saying, 100 people. No tents, no loudspeakers..", Varma said as he assured the Court that all COVID-19 precautions would be undertaken.

In response, Advocate Gautam Narayan for Delhi Police reiterated that the permission to stage the protest was denied in view of the DDMA order prohibiting such activities in view COVID-19 and the Section 144 CrPC prohibitory orders at the two locations.

Rebutting Varma's claim, Narayan stated that by virtue of the Supreme Court order, protests were not permitted in any residential area in the city.

"Anything apart from Jantar Mantar and Ramlila maidan is not permissible. At these two places, (COVID-19 appropriate) conditions have to be complied with.", he stated.

Narayan also produced a September 2020 DDMA order prohibiting political activities in the national capital on account of COVID-19 and stated that the same stood extended till December 31, 2020.

In view of the absence of any challenge to DDMA order prohibiting political activities, the Court expressed its inability in granting any relief.

It, nonetheless, asked Delhi Police to state its stand in the form of a counter affidavit.

The matter would be heard next on January 14.

Read the entire account of the hearing here:

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