KOLKATA: A single-judge bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday observed that the state police forces in West Bengal cannot act in a biased manner while giving permission for rallies by different political parties in the state.
The Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha also ruled that from now onwards instead of seeking permission from the local police station, all political parties can seek permission either from the commissioners of respective police commissionerats or the respective district police superintendents. “I hope the police to adopt an unbiased approach in permitting rallies without any discrimination in political parties,” Justice Mantha ruled in a case filed at the Calcutta High Court complaining denial of police permission for joint rally by CPI(M) and All India Secular Front (AISF) at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas district in West Bengal.
Justice Mantha observed that recently there had been several cases filed at the court with complaints against police for giving permission to conduct political rallies and programmes. “It seems there is a necessity to format some specific norms on this count,” Justice Mantha observed.
He also outlined a specific format regarding applications for permission for rallies to commissionerats and offices of district police superintendents, besides setting some norms for the police authorities on this count. According to Justice Mantha, the police authorities concerned should separately register the different applications and at the same time upload the status of the application on their respective websites. He also said that it is advisable to treat the application on a “first come first serve” basis, which means priority should be given to applicants applying before. “There should not be any kind of disparity on this count,” Justice Mantha observed. He also said that the police should maintain and document proposed routes of rally and estimated turnout and ensure that the rally is conducted peacefully. IANS
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