Bill to restrict processions, roadside meetings passed
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
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.