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Supreme Court’s big order on voter awareness rallies amid prohibitory orders

Mangalore Today News Network

New Delhi, April 19, 2024: The Supreme Court directed authorities to decide within three days whether a person can hold rallies on voter awareness amid Section 144 orders after applying for permission.

Supreme Court

The order came on a petition filed by activist Aruna Roy, who alleged that there were blanket orders on imposing Section 144 across the country, due to which voter awareness rallies were not being held, Bar and Bench reported. Section 144 prohibits a gathering of four or more people.

A bench of Justices BR Gavai and Sandeep Mehta heard the matter and said they would take it up again after two weeks.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan argued on Roy’s plea and said there were blanket orders on Section 144 being passed before the country.

"They are saying it is not applicable to marriage processions. But it also says that no person shall organise any procession or make speeches. We have applied for permission regarding a democracy yatra (rally) so that voters can exercise their democratic rights. We have asked for permission but nothing was given," he said.

He added that authorities should have decided within 48 hours an application sent to them for permission to hold the rally.

"Unless there is genuine apprehension of breach of peace, you cannot issue a Section 144 order. This is being done before the elections and all rallies have been stopped," Bhushan said.

After hearing the arguments, Justice Gavai said, "It is stated that the petitioner applied for permission to conduct rallies to educate the people about elections. By way of an interim order, we direct that if any application is made by any person to the competent authorities, the same shall be decided within three days of such an application."

Courtesy: India Today

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