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High Court asserts 'Right to Assembly': Orders police to permit Amit Shah's Kolkata meeting

Kolkata: Ruling in favor of the party's right to hold a public meeting featuring Amit Shah, the court emphasizes the principles of a free country but recognises the police's authority to impose reasonable restrictions.

Edited By: Nitin Kumar @Niitz1 Kolkata Published on: November 20, 2023 20:33 IST
Amit Shah
Image Source : PTI/FILE PHOTO Union Home Minister Amit Shah speaks during a public meeting.

In a significant legal development, the Calcutta High Court has weighed in on the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) request for permission to conduct a public meeting in Kolkata on November 29, featuring a speech by Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The BJP had approached the high court seeking a directive from the city police to grant approval for the meeting at Esplanade, a central location in Kolkata, asserting that their request had been denied on two occasions by the authorities.

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha, presiding over the case, emphasised the principles of a free country, stating that the police authorities should indeed grant permission for the meeting on the specified date. However, he acknowledged the police's right to impose reasonable restrictions, which could be communicated to the organisers.

The court has scheduled a follow-up appearance for the matter on Wednesday, indicating ongoing legal scrutiny of the issue. The petitioner's lawyer, Srijib Chakraborty, highlighted that the BJP's initial application for the meeting on November 28 was rejected due to a failure to adhere to the stipulated buffer time. Subsequent attempts for permission on November 29 also faced refusal, according to Chakraborty.

This legal intervention brings attention to the delicate balance between the right to assembly and the authority's ability to regulate public gatherings, especially in the context of high-profile political events. As the legal proceedings unfold, the decision may have broader implications for the exercise of political rights and public events in the region.

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