Madras HC allows political meeting to be held inside college premises

Chennai: Disposing a writ petition by a student of a city college seeking a direction against conduct of a political meeting in the college premises in which Chief Minister M Karunanidhi would take part, the Madras High Court on Friday permitted the event to go ahead with certain conditions.

Balaji Rao, a B Com student at Sir P T Thyagaraya Arts and Science College filed a Public Interest Litigation to forbear authorities, including the Educational Department, City Police Commissioner and the institution from permitting a DMK function inside the college premises.

The function is to be held tomorrow in connection with former AIADMK MLA Sekar Babu joining DMK, the petitioner said.

He alleged that Babu had encroached the playground in the college premises to organise the function and sought a direction to forebear the respondents from permitting the function as "it would affect the peaceful atmosphere of the educational institution."

Disposing the petition, the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivaganam said the organisers should be solely responsible for the safety and the security of the college and its properties.

Observing that the intention of the petitioner was "laudable", the bench said, "yet on facts of the present case, we are not persuaded to interfere and grant relief sought for by the petitioner".

The bench also said the organiser should strictly comply with conditions in the February 12 letter given by the institution in which the college has listed the conditions to conduct the event peacefully.

Further, police and fire service authorities should accord protection as requested by the institution, the court ruled.