Calcutta HC allows Amit Shah to hold rally in city, appoints two officers for meet

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday appointed two special officers to ensure compliance of fire services and municipal rules for BJP national president Amit Shah's 30 November public meeting, observing that the government should not be rigid in the compliance of these rules while granting permission.

 Calcutta HC allows Amit Shah to hold rally in city, appoints two officers for meet

BJP President Amit Shah will hold a rally in Kolkata on Sunday. Reuters

Justice Debangshu Basak appointed the director general of state Fire Services and joint commissioner (development) of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) as special officers and asked the city police commissioner to depute an appropriate officer to assist them to ensure compliance of rules.

Hearing a petition by the BJP alleging unreasonable denial of permission to hold the rally by KMC and fire services department, Justice Basak observed that this is the first attempt by a political party to comply with fire and municipal body regulations to hold a public meeting and as such they must be given some leeway.

The court observed that regulations like leaving 20 metres open on either side of the stage in front of Victoria House at Esplanade in the heart of the city was not mandatory and asked the officers to take a reasonable call on this.

Disposing the petition, Justice Basak directed the special officers to convene a meeting at 10.30 am on Saturday at the site of the meeting and directed that the petitioners would be represented by two persons only, but may take the help of technicians as necessary.

The West Bengal BJP had moved the court alleging denial by Kolkata Police (KP). The court had then directed the KP commissioner to sit with state BJP leadership to sort out the issue and submit a report on 20 November.

The commissioner had told the court that permission could not be granted as they had not produced mandatory fire services and KMC permission.

The BJP had again moved court seeking direction on the fire and municipal departments to consider their applications, on which the court had directed them to file the application and asked the departments to consider and give a reasoned order by 27 November.

Both the departments denied permission for the rally stating that certain provisions had not been complied with. As such, BJP moved the court again on Friday for the third time on the issue and submitted that it would comply with all norms for holding the rally.

PTI

Updated Date: Nov 28, 2014 18:16:09 IST



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