Bill to restrict processions, roadside meetings passed
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Last Updated: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 22:18
Thiruvananthapuram: To circumvent the recent supreme court ruling prohibiting gatherings on roadsides, Kerala assembly on Thursday unanimously passed a legislation to restrict processions and meetings on public roads.

The 'Kerala Public Ways (restriction of assemblies and processions) Bill-2011', was urgently brought yesterday in view of the Attukal Pongala festival here on February 19 where lakhs of people participate.

The bill stated that prohibitory orders might affect the conduct of religious functions like 'Attukal Pongala' and 'Thrissur Pooram', which would in turn invite protests from public.

Therefore it has become necessary to make a legislation to enable the government to impose reasonable restrictions on the public using roads for meetings, the bill said.

Though the legislation mentioned about the religious functions, all political parties had expressed reservation over the apex court order holding that it was an infringment on their freedom of expression. Apex court ruling had virtually baned holding of meetings including by political parties on road sides.

A ruling by Supreme Court on January this year upheld the judgement of the Kerala High Court prohibiting public meetings on roadsides in the state.


First Published: Thursday, February 17, 2011, 22:18

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