The Andhra Pradesh High Court on 21st October 2022, Friday, while hearing a writ petition filed by the Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti Trust, passed multiple regulations to ensure the well-ordered conduct of the Maha Padayatra from Amaravati to Arasavilli, in protest opposed to the proposed establishment of three capitals in the State. This was seen in the case of Amaravati Parirakshana Samiti v. State of Andhra Pradesh Writ Petition No. 34412 of 2022 by the Coram of Hon’ble Mr. Justice R.RaghunandanRao.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The petitioner trust along with two persons alleged that after commencement of the Padayatra, definite members of the ruling party started opposing the Padayatra and that definite leaders & politicians started vilifying against the Padayatra by indulging in hate speeches They also stated that venous provocative posters were put up stating that ‘any person wanting one capital, will get their heads chopped off: It was also their claim that definite members of the ruling party were conceiving a conspiracy for infiltrating anti-social elements as participators in the Padayatra and for indulging in criminal activities.
Their case was that the State by taking a partisan role in the entire affair was affecting the rights of the participators of Padayatra including their rights under Articles 14, 19 & 21 of the Constitution, despite the fact that the participators of the Padayatra had been walking for the past 39 days in a peaceful & Gandhian manner and had been convey their objections strictly in terms laid down by the previous orders of the Court.
The State, besides, argued that the earlier directions issued by the Court had been blatantly violated & a huge number of people, running into thousands, were being allowed to participate in the Padayatra, using abusive & provocative language. The State also contended that the prayer of the petitioners in asking the Court to allow them to express their perspectives in any manner acceptable to them while ensuring that no person who is in opposition to those perspectives is allowed to express their perspectives was a violation of the fundamental rights of those persons, who oppose the perspectives of the participators of the Padayatra.
The single bench of Justice R. Raghunandan Rao ordered that the procession of the Padayatra can’t consist of more than 600 persons whose details have already been furnished to the State. The Court ordered that any person seeking to express unanimity would have to express such unanimity only from the side lines and not by joining the procession.
In connection with ‘rival groups’ infiltrating the procession, the Court ordered that the State, while granting permission to any group expressing a opponent opinion, shall ensure that the said procession or meeting of such opponent groups shall not be in the proximity of the procession of the Padayatra, as per the approved route map and that the opponent groups shall not be allowed to physically confront each other Finally, Court ordered that no more than four vehicles shall be allowed as part of the Padayatra.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY YAKSHU JINDAL.