Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The chief justice of Gujarat high court asks litigant to meet CM

Ahmedabad:The chief justice of Gujarat high court has asked a petitioner who heads a senior citizens’ body to meet chief minister Narendra Modi after he filed a litigation seeking action against police for manhandling his demonstrators at a Modi event.
The petitioner Praful Desai is president of a senior citizens service trust and was protesting against poor civic amenities in Vadodara on August 29 last year with six others. The demonstration was held at a garib kalyan mela which Modi was to address, after the union ministry of urban development ranked Vadodara 232 of 423 cities for civic services.
Just before Modi’s arrived, local police shooed away the senior citizens and snatched their placards and banners. Desai then got in touch with the J P Nagar police station in Vadodara and the DGP and questioned why the police’s act of snatching placards should not be considered a violation of their right to freedom of expression. He even sought reply under RTI laws on circulars by which police could behave in high-handed manner with senior citizens.
Finally, Desai filed a PIL in the high court demanding the placards and banner back. He urged the court to punish the police personnel for violating fundamental rights of citizens. He argued that Modi’s Z+ security must not prevent citizens from staging peaceful demonstrations. The court was not inclined to entertain the PIL, but the petitioner insisted that removal of demonstrators by force was the violation of their fundamental rights. The chief justice proposed that he make a representation to the chief minister regarding the issue of civic amenities in Vadodara city and Desai agreed.

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