New Delhi [India], December 18 (ANI) The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notice to Delhi Police on Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders' pleas against an order denying them permission to stage a peaceful protest outside the residences of Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
A single-judge bench of Justice Navin Chawla asked the Delhi Police to file a reply on the pleas filed by AAP MLAs and listed the matter for further hearing on January 14, 2021.
The bench also recorded the police's submission that as per the Delhi Disaster Management Authority order, political activities in Delhi are prohibited till December 31, 2020, and thus the permission to hold a protest cannot be granted.
Advocate Gautam Narayan, appearing for Delhi Police, exhibited various orders passed by the authorities from time to time and said as per instruction received by him, no political gathering on any kind is permissible and henceforth, Delhi Police has rejected it.
He also said the prohibition applies across the city and not just one road.
Citing Supreme Court judgement to justify the Delhi Police decision, he said there are only two designated spots for protests and anything apart from Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan is not permissible for holding protests.
"Apart from these two, there cannot be any protest in any residential area. That is our understanding," Narayan said.
Appearing for AAP leaders, advocate Satvik Verma urged the Delhi High Court to set aside Delhi Police order. Varma said 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 pleas sought directions to reconsider and allow the petitioners' 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 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 a peaceful protest, demonstration and dharna pradarshan outside the residence of Amit Shah in order to voice the alleged misappropriation of funds by BJP-led North Delhi Municipal Corporation amounting to more than Rs 2,500 crores, which it said is a serious concern of the citizens of NCT of Delhi.
"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, hypocrite, 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.
It said the police was suitably able to allow the request of Councillors of BJP 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 cannot be acceded to. (ANI)