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Police Protection To Hold Twenty20 Panchayat Meetings: Kerala High Court Disposes Plea

Hannah M Varghese
29 July 2021 3:18 PM GMT
Police Protection To Hold Twenty20 Panchayat Meetings: Kerala High Court Disposes Plea
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The Kerala High Court recently disposed petitions filed by Presidents of three Panchayats where the Twenty20 party founded by the Kitex group is in power, seeking police protection to convene meetings.Justice P.V Kunhikrishnan pronounced that whenever any apprehension of law and order issue arises, the petitioners are free to approach the Station House Officer concerned and the Superintendent...

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The Kerala High Court recently disposed petitions filed by Presidents of three Panchayats where the Twenty20 party founded by the Kitex group is in power, seeking police protection to convene meetings.

Justice P.V Kunhikrishnan pronounced that whenever any apprehension of law and order issue arises, the petitioners are free to approach the Station House Officer concerned and the Superintendent of Police with a representation mentioning the details of the meeting. 

The petition was filed by Deena Deepak, MV Nithamol, and Bincy Baiju, presidents of Aikkaranad, Kunnathunadu, and Mazhuvannoor Panchayats respectively alleging that they could not peacefully conduct panchayat committee meetings, standing committee meetings, planning committee meetings, or even grama sabhas due to threats from the opposition.

Advocate Blaze K Jose appearing for the petitioners argued that an interim order was earlier passed by the Court for convening a meeting on a particular date. He submitted that in case of any threat for convening such meetings, police protection was deemed necessary.

Government Pleader on behalf of the members of opposition submitted that the Court may not pass an order for police protection indefinitely since as of today, there was no law and order situation. 

A Panchayat committee has to function for five years, and it was not feasible to provide police protection to them for five years. 

Although there might have been peaceful protests against the functioning of the committee, the respondents guaranteed that they will not take law into their hands. On this ground, the counsel submitted that there was no threat from the contesting respondents as alleged by the petitioners.

The Bench, disposing of the petitions, held that whenever there is any apprehension of law and order issues, in connection with the meetings of the panchayats, the petitioners are free to approach the Station House Officer concerned and the Superintendent of Police, Ernakulam Rural, with a representation mentioning the date of the meeting and place.

If such a representation is received, the Station House Officer and the SP, Ernakulam Rural, were directed to do the needful to see that there is no law and order situation.

The court, therefore, made it clear that opposition members of the panchayats are free to agitate against any policy decisions of the petitioners without creating any law and order problem and without obstructing the panchayat committee meetings.

Case Title: Deena Deepak v. Superintendent of Police

Click Here To Read The Order


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