Calcutta High Court allows rally by 600 job aspirants on agreed-upon route; directs authorities to ensure security of protestors

calcutta high court

Calcutta High Court: In a case where the petitioner preferred an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction from the Court to grant permission for a rally of job aspirants, a single-judge bench comprising of Jay Sengupta, J., granted permission to the petitioner to conduct the road-march on the agreed-upon route on 27-09-2023, subject to compliance with legal requirements and with the specified time limit. The respondent authorities were tasked with ensuring security and maintaining vigilance during the event.

In the instant matter, the petitioner preferred an application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India seeking a direction from the Court to grant permission for a rally of job aspirants.

The petitioner serves as the Convenor of WBGDRB — 2017 Group — D Waiting, Aikya Mancha, comprising 600 job aspirants who were not appointed as Group-D employees by the Government of West Bengal, despite meeting the required qualifications. The job aspirants had been conducting a peaceful sit-in demonstration near Matangini Hazra Murti, Kolkata since August 2022, to express their grievances.

The petitioner sought permission to hold a road-march on 27-09-2023 at about 1 pm with approximately 600 participants.

Initially, the proposed route was from Hazra More through various roads, but this was denied by the respondent authorities citing an order under Section 144 of CrPC. An alternative route was agreed upon by both parties, which included Theatre Road, Camac Street Crossing, Nizam Palace, Exide More, Ashutosh Mukherjee Road, and ending at Hazra More with the delivery of speeches.

After hearing arguments from both parties and reviewing the writ petition and relevant documents, the Court makes the following observations and decisions:

  1. The petitioner and the respondent authorities have mutually agreed upon a specific route for the proposed rally/procession scheduled for 27-09-2023, as detailed above.

  2. The Court granted permission for the petitioner to conduct the rally/procession on the agreed route between 1 pm and 5 pm on the specified date, in accordance with the law.

  3. The Court clarified that the entire program must conclude by 5 pm.

  4. The Court directed the respondent authorities to make necessary police arrangements to ensure the security of participants and passersby and to maintain a vigilant presence at the location.

  5. With above mentioned observations, the writ petition was disposed of.

[Ashis Khamrai v. State of W.B., 2023 SCC OnLine Cal 2977, order dated 20-09-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

Mr. Koustav Bagchi, Mr. Debayan Ghosh and Ms. Priti Kar, Counsel for the Petitioners

Mr. Amal Kumar Sen and Mr. Jaladhi Das, Counsel for the Respondent/State

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