Political activists have right to protest against the Administration

The bench opined that political activist and other public-spirited persons would have right of protest against perceived discrimination/atrocities, inaction, omission or commission of the State Authorities.

protest

Recently, The Allahabad HC stated that Political activists have the right to protest against the Administration by staging Dharana against perceived discrimination.

The bench of Justice Dinesh Kumar Singh was dealing with the application filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. seeking the quashing of the proceedings of the Criminal Case registered under Sections 141, 145, 283 and 341 IPC.

In this case, The applicant is a political activist. He is a 3rd-time Member of the Legislative Council and at present he holds the position of Minister of State in the Government of Uttar Pradesh; earlier, he was in Congress Party.

It is alleged that party in power at the relevant time (Samajwadi Party) was pressurizing the applicant to quit Congress Party and join Samaswadi Party, however, the applicant, despite pressure being exerted on him from several quarters, did not agree to leave Congress Party and join Samajwadi Party.

The issue for consideration before the bench was:

Whether the order passed by the Additional Sessions Judge needs interference or not?

The bench stated that “in a democracy based on adult franchise, the political activist and other public-spirited persons would have right of protest against the Administration by staging Dharana etc. against perceived discrimination/atrocities, inaction, omission or commission of the State Authorities. In a criminal case, regarding assault on a person, who was a political activist, name of the local MLA, Late Akhilesh Singh came, however, the police was not taking any action in the said case and no fair investigation was being carried out.”

High Court opined that to put pressure on the State Authorities, the applicant, along with his supporters, staged protest on Raebareli-Sultanpur Road. This protest might have caused inconvenience to the commuters, but the fact remains that no offence was committed by the applicant or other co-accused. This is not even the case of the prosecution that the applicant and his supporters had indulged in any violence or criminal activity.

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