The Delhi Police have lifted their two-decade-old ban on rallies and demonstrations in the Boat Club and Jantar Mantar areas near Parliament House and India Gate, saying they were doing so under pressure from the Delhi high court. The police said in an affidavit on Tuesday that they were lifting the
ban in the central district of the national capital.
The police, however, told the court that restrictions would be imposed in the area if it was felt that public peace and security would be threatened.
The police’s affidavit said, “The continuous prohibition in the area for holding of meetings and dharnas has been discontinued. The said provisions of the law will be invoked as and when warranted by emergency situations.”
A high court bench, headed by chief justice Dipak Misra, had told the police during a hearing on April 28: “You cannot impose prohibitory orders continuously. It has to be on a case-to-case basis. Even the Supreme Court says so.”
The court was hearing a PIL against the continuous prohibitory orders in the areas near Parliament House filed by a Bhopal gas victim who had come to protest against the Centre’s alleged apathy towards the victims, but had to go back due to the prohibitory orders.