Madras HC quashes criminal cases against 400 members of Popular Front of India for staging 'unlawful' protests

The Jharkhand government had banned the Popular Front of India in the state on 22 February last year on the charge of spreading anarchy, after which PFI staged countrywide protests.

Press Trust of India December 26, 2018 09:57:06 IST
Madras HC quashes criminal cases against 400 members of Popular Front of India for staging 'unlawful' protests

Chennai: Dec 25 (PTI) The Madras High Court has quashed criminal cases filed against 400 members of Popular Front of India (PFI) for staging a protest in Chennai without permission against the ban on the outfit by the Jharkhand government in February this year.

Justice Anand Venkatesh passed the order recently, allowing a plea of PFI member Mohamed Shaik Ansari. The petitioner contended that the FIR against the protesters were filed under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including 188 (disobedience to order promulgated by public servant) in violation of guidelines issued by the court in Jeevanandham case.

Madras HC quashes criminal cases against 400 members of Popular Front of India for staging unlawful protests

File photo of the Madras High Court. Wikimedia Commons

According to the petitioner, the Jharkhand government had, on 22 February last year, banned the organisation in the state on the charge of spreading anarchy. Condemning the decision, PFI members had staged demonstrations and protests across the country, and 400 workers, including 100 women, of its Tamil Nadu unit held the protest in Chennai.

All the 400 PFI workers were arrested as the protest was organised without obtaining police permission. An FIR was registered against all under IPC sections 188 and 143 (unlawful assembly).

Contending that the police had failed to follow the guidelines laid down by the high court, the petitioner wanted the FIRs to be quashed.

The court had in September this year gave certain guidelines to be followed in future by the police while dealing with an offence under Section 188 of the IPC.

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