• HC allows BJP rally at Esplanade, questions police denying permission
    Indian Express | 21 November 2023
  • The Calcutta High Court on Monday allowed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to organise a rally in Kolkata’s Esplanade area on November 29 which is likely to be attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

    The BJP had moved the high court after Kolkata Police denied it permission twice to hold the rally in front of Victoria House in Esplanade area. The ruling

    Trinamool Congress also organises its annual Martyr’s Day rally in front of Victoria House.

    The BJP had submitted applications seeking police permission for the rally on November 15 and 16. The police had earlier denied permission to the BJP as the request for holding the rally was not made 15 days prior to the event. Later, when the party submitted another application for the same, the police could not give a valid reason for denying it the permission.

    Hearing the matter today, a single bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha permitted the BJP to hold the rally on November 29 and observed that in an independent country “anyone has the freedom to go anywhere”. The Bench also raised questions about the denial of police permission for the same.

    The court also observed that while the police could impose certain conditions for holding the rally, it could not deny permission “without citing any valid reason for the denial”. The court has asked the state government to submit an affidavit before it by Wednesday, informing the court about its decision regarding the same.

    “The court has listened to our plea and asked the state government and state police to grant us permission for the rally. It has also said that the police are free to give any condition for the same. We see it as our moral victory as the police cannot stop our programmes by denying permissions,” said state BJP leader Jagannath Chattopadhyay.

    There was no immediate reaction from the Trinamool Congress over this development. The rally has been organised to highlight alleged irregularities by the state government in implementing the centrally-sponsored 100-day job scheme under MGNREGA.

    Apart from Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the party has also invited Union Minister of State for Rural Development Giriraj Singh and State Minister Niranjan Jyoti for the rally.

  • Link to this news (Indian Express)