Can organisers of political rallies be responsible for provocative slogans raised by any of the participants during such rallies? Ker HC answers

Kerala High Court: P.V. Kunhikrishnan, J., observed that, if a member of a rally raises provocative slogans, the persons who organize the rally is also responsible.

A petition was filed with the following prayers:

(A) Issue a writ of mandamus or such other writ or direction directing the 5th respondent to consider and pass orders immediately;

(B) Issue a writ of Mandamus or such other writ or direction directing the respondents to prohibit conferences, Marches, Mass Drill, Motorcycle Rally etc. at Alappuzha District on 21.05.2022 proposed to be conducted by Popular Front of India and Bajrang dal; and

(C) Issue such other writ, direction or order as are just and necessary in the facts and circumstances of the case to meet the ends of justice. [SIC]

When the petition came up for consideration, the Government Pleader placed on record a report submitted by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Alappuzha.

In the submitted statement, it was stated that the Crimes 555/2022 and 418/2022, were registered against Bajrang Dal and the Popular Front. The said cases will be investigated by the investigating officer and submitted a report before the competent court.

Further, it was brought to the notice of this Court that provocative slogans were raised by the members in the rally conducted by the Popular Front.

High Court expressed that,

“If a member of a rally raises provocative slogans, the persons who organize the rally is also responsible. If a rally is conducted, it is the duty of the leaders to control the members of the rally.”

“Whether the members of the rally raised the slogan with the knowledge of the leaders or whether there is any connivance between the leaders who organized the rally with the persons who raised provocative slogans is a matter to be investigated by the police.” 

Prima Facie, the organizers were responsible for the said rallies.

Therefore, the organizers should also be investigated. But the police should investigate the matter untrammelled by any observation.

Lastly, the police officers would do the needful in accordance with the law against all persons who violated the law of the land.

In view of the above, the petition was closed. [R. Ramaraja Varma v. State of Kerala, WP(C) No. 16371 of 2022, decided on 27-5-2022]


Advocates before the Court:

For the Petitioner:

BY ADV. G. SREEKUMAR (CHELUR)

For the Respondents:

BY ADV.

VIDYA KURIAKOSE, GOVERNMENT PLEADER

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