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Calcutta High Court sets guidelines for rally nod by police

Offices of police superintendents and commissioners will have to keep record of applications for permission for rallies or demonstrations

Tapas Ghosh And Monalisa Chaudhuri | Published 18.03.23, 07:24 AM
File picture of a rally in the city

File picture of a rally in the city

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of Calcutta High Court on Friday framed guidelines for approaching police for permission to hold rallies and other protests.

“Instead of local police stations, the rally organisers henceforth will have to seek permission from district superintendents of police (SP) or the commissioners of police in the commissionerates,” Justice Mantha said. 


“If the applications are rejected, the superintendents of police and the commissioners of police will have to show appropriate reasons for not allowing the permission and intimate the reasons to the applicant organisation,” the judge said.

The offices of the police superintendents and police commissioners will have to keep record of the applications for permission for rallies or demonstrations. It will be mandatory for applicant parties to inform the police about the tentative footfall and the route through which the rally would proceed.

It will also be mandatory for the applicants to comply with the sound norms prescribed by the state government, the court said.

The judge gave this general order while disposing of a petition by the CPM that alleged that the local police station did not allow the party twice in February to hold a rally in Bhangar, in South 24-Parganas district.

The state administration told the court it had no objection if the rally is scheduled for March 28, after the state higher secondary examinations end.

Now, political parties and private organisations approach the local police station for permission to hold rallies or other protests. Only in case of “large rallies” is the matter intimated to the respective police headquarters for additional police arrangements.

According to the guidelines issued by the high court on Friday, all applications will now have to be sent to the respective police headquarters.

The court said the police should not be biased in accepting or rejecting applications and should maintain an online register that could be accessed in case of any ambiguity.

A senior IPS officer of the rank of inspector-general said: “We often come across political rallies that turn out to be much bigger than what was planned and way more unruly than what was anticipated. That also has to stop.”

Kolkata has witnessed several “law violation” programmes. In such cases political rallies were organised without permission of the state administration and many of them ended in violence.

Last updated on 18.03.23, 07:34 AM

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