15 April 2022 2:00 PM GMT
Andhra Pradesh High Court recently directed the State to consider the petitioner's request to conduct padyatra to the office of the Chief Minister. Justice D. V. S. S. Somyajulu observed that Covid-19 is no longer a valid condition to stop him from the padyatra. "Considering the submissions made, this Court has to agree the reason No.1 (COVID-19) is no longer a valid ground...
Andhra Pradesh High Court recently directed the State to consider the petitioner's request to conduct padyatra to the office of the Chief Minister.
Justice D. V. S. S. Somyajulu observed that Covid-19 is no longer a valid condition to stop him from the padyatra.
"Considering the submissions made, this Court has to agree the reason No.1 (COVID-19) is no longer a valid ground for rejecting the permission. The petitioner also agrees to furnish a route map and also the clear and categorical details of the participant along with Aadhar card and other documents of the identity of the people, who are going to accompany the petitioner. The learned counsel for the petitioner also that all the people, who are accompanying the petitioner, are law abiding citizens."
The petitioner had sought permission for conducting 'padayatra' to meet the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. The application filed by the petitioner before the Superintendent of Police, West Godavari District, Eluru was rejected on certain grounds. The first ground was that he cannot be allowed for the padyatra owing to Covid restrictions. Secondly, he was asked to submit a route map and details. Thirdly he was told that he cannot go for a padyatra till he has obtained permission from the CM's office. Questioning the said rejection order, the writ petition has been filed.
Petitioner argued before court that ground pertaining to the COVID –19 is no longer relevant. He stated that with regard to route map and details, the petitioner had submitted certain details to the police, but they are not acting on the same. Lastly, he submits that prior permission being obtained from the Chief Minister's Officer is stated to be necessary to meet the Hon'ble Chief Minister to conduct padayatra and the same cannot be used as a ground to deny the right of the petitioner to take out a padayatra.
He claimed that the right to peacefully protest and carry out the padayatra is a fundamental right given to the petitioner, which cannot be unreasonably denied.
Counsel for State argued that there are high security risks involved and that the police carefully verifies and vet the antecedents of people who wish to meet a dignitary like the Chief Minister. It was submitted that the petitioner did not furnish any details about the eleven (11) persons, who will accompany him on the padayatra. He did not submit any identification particulars also. Therefore, it was stated categorically that as clear details are not furnished, the permission was refused. It is also urged that even before the representation referred to in the writ petition was received by the respondents, the writ petition was filed.
The Court recorded that the permission from the Chief Minister's Office is not a matter on which this Court can pronounce any order or give a direction.
"If the petitioner submits a representation immediately with all the requisite data and details, the respondent-police are directed to consider the same objectively and pass an order immediately on merits. With this observation, the writ petition is allowed. No costs," Court said.
Case Title: Karampudi Vijay Pal v. The State of Andhra Pradesh and Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AP) 58
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