New Delhi [India], January 14 (ANI): The Delhi Police, while opposing the plea of AAP leader Raghav Chadha challenging the order denying him permission to stage a peaceful protest outside the residence of Union Home Amit Shah, said that no protest outside the residence of the Home Minister can be permitted.
The response of Delhi Police come through an affidavit in Delhi HC which stated that the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (`DDMA') in its order dated 30.09.2020 had issued directions and prohibited all political functions in Delhi to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Delhi Police reply further submitted that the respondents apprehended that there was a reasonable possibility of the dharna by the petitioner gathering more supporters which would violate the DDMA guidelines. Therefore, the request of the petitioner to hold a dharna outside the Home Minister's residence was denied in accordance with the extant guidelines of the DDMA to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
Similarly, the Delhi Police has too opposed the AAP leader Atishi plea challenging a Delhi police order denying her the permission to stage a peaceful protest outside the residence of Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
The matter was listed on Thursday before Justice Prathiba M Singh but no hearing took place as the related counsels sought an adjournment as the proceedings were to be held in a physical court.
Earlier, Advocate Gautam Narayan, appearing for Delhi Police exhibited various orders passed by the authorities time to time and said as per instruction received to him, no political gathering on any kind is permissible and henceforth, Delhi Police has rejected it.
He had also cited Supreme Court judgement to justify the Delhi Police decision and said that there are only two designated spots for protests and anything apart from Jantar Mantar and Ramlila maidan is not permissible for holding protest. Apart from these two, there cannot be any protest in any residential area. That is our understanding, Adv Narayan had said.
Appearing for AAP leaders, advocate Satvik Verma, urged the Delhi High Court to set aside Delhi Police order.
Advocate Satvik Varma said that there are two petitions for two requests. One is for outside the house of the Minister and other is for outside the house of the Lieutenant Governor, he said.
The petitions have sought direction to the respondents to reconsider and allow petitioner's request for grant of permission to hold peaceful protest and sitting dharna at the indicated area outside the residence of the Home Minister of India and accordingly to make necessary arrangements for the peaceful protest and dharna pradarshan at the indicated area on similar lines as being permitted outside the residence of Chief Minister of Delhi.
The leaders have sought to quash and set aside the order dated December 12 issued by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, New Delhi District vide which petitioner's request has been rejected.
They told the court that they intended to hold peaceful protest, demonstration and dharna pradarshan outside the residence of Minister of Home Affairs, in order to voice the misappropriation of funds done by Bhartiya Janata Party-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation amounting to more than of Rs 2,500 crores, which is a serious concern of the citizens of NCT of Delhi.
But Delhi Police rejected the request vide the impugned order taking the shelter of order dated October 31 and November 28 issued by Delhi Disaster Management Authority for containment of Covid 19 pandemic, the court was told.
"That the impugned order and actions of the respondents, (who are obligated to be politically neutral as holding a statutory post), are further highly unfair, biased, hypocrital, partial, arbitrary and extremely politically motivated, and raises serious questions upon their integrity, commitment and responsibilities obligated towards the citizens of this largest democracy in the world," the plea said.
The petition added that "As on one hand, respondents were suitably able to allow the request of councillors of Bharatiya Janta Party, for protest and dharna pradarshan before the residence of Chief Minister of Delhi, which is still continuing, but on the other hand, they conclude that petitioner's request who does not belong to said political party and is a MLA of Aam Aadmi Party, cannot be acceded to."
The petitioner said that aggrieved by the above prejudice, arbitrariness and over and above, for infringement of constitutional rights, petitioner is left with no other efficacious remedy but to approach this court for protection of his constitutional rights. (ANI)