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HC lifts stay on GO 1, raps petitioners

HC lifts stay on GO 1, raps petitioners

The Andhra Pradesh high court on Monday refused to extent the interim stay on the controversial government order (GO No. 1) on restricting public rallies and roadside meetings and posted the case for further hearing on Tuesday.

A division bench of the state high court headed by chief justice Prashant Kumar Mishra, which took up the case following a Supreme Court direction, rapped the petitioners who filed a case against the GO 1.

The GO was was issued following the death of 11 people in 2 separate TDP public meetings in Nellore and Guntur district. 

The state government had reiterated several times that the GO was a prohibitory measure to regulate public meetings and not any ban as was being propagated by the opposition.

The high court bench found fault with the Vacation Bench and the petitioners as to what was the urgency in filing a lunch motion over this case.

“Going into the roots of the very proprietary of this case, it didn’t seem to be of such an urgent nature. I knew everything that was happening and how things happened that day,’ the CJ said.

In a stinging observation, the chief justice asked whether the petitioner had staged any dharna or protest that they had to file a lunch motion in the Winter court. 

"What was the urgency if the order has not endured to the benefit of the petitioner," he questioned.

The state government argued that the government had issued the decision in clear balance of fundamental rights of the citizens and public interest. It said no citizen is entitled to claim that he has a vested fundamental right to conduct a meeting on a public road.

“The State government has not banned any public meetings on public roads. It has only regulated it with guidance on the parameters to be followed. There is no ban on processions and roadshows. The petitioner also has not contended that there is a ban on public processions and road shows,” the state government counsel argued.

It said the Supreme Court has upheld the State's power to regulate the subject matter in the interests of public safety and public order. In the context of the eight deaths in the public meeting on a public road, the impugned GO was issued.

“The petitioner has not come to this court with clean hands. It is a manufactured cause of action with contradictory stands and pleadings. The State has already appointed a commission of inquiry into the subject matter. We are awaiting its report,” it said.

The AP High Court, while refusing to extend the interim order has posted the matter for hearing tomorrow.


Tags: Andhra Pradesh High Court