The Lokpal movement has challenged the imposition of prohibitory orders in central Delhi and Jantar Mantar in a notice given by former law minister and eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan.
Bhushan, one of the brightest legal brains in the country, pointed out that the current imposition of Section 144 — prohibition of assembly — is directly in violation of an assurance given by Delhi police barely two weeks ago.
“..continuous prohibtion under section 144 CrPC under the jurisdiction of New Delhi district declaring certain areas as ‘prohibited area’ for holding any public meeting, dharna, peaceful protest etc. has been discontinued. The said provision of law would be invoked as and when warranted because of an emergent situation,” the Delhi Police had submitted in an affidavit before the Delhi High Court on 27th of last month.
Bhushan said “it is surprising that the Delhi police has changed its position within 10 days of filing this affidavit in the High Court. The reimposition of Section 144 again in Central Delhi in the absence of any such emergent situation which imminently threatens breach of peace is a clear violation of Citizen’s rights under Article 19.”
Bhushan further went on to “put the Delhi police on notice” that there would be a peaceful demonstration at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday.
“We are therefore informing you and cautioning you that this reimposition of a a notification under section 144 is totally illegal and a violation of the Article 19. We are putting you on notice that we intend to go ahead with the fast on teh 8th which will be totally peaceful and any attempt to prevent the people from reaching Jantar Mantar would be viewed as a serious violation of fundamental democratic rights of the people.
“We hope that the Delhi Police would desist from any such attempt,” he said in a letter address to the Commissioner of Delhi Police, Home Secretary etc..
Bhushan also undertook that the fast will be totally peaceful and will not pose any threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country or to public order. “Reasonable restrictions can be imposed under Article 19(3) only iin the interest of the sovereignty and integrity of India or in the interest of public order,” Bhushan quoted from the Criminal Procedure Code.
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