SC issues guidelines to deter vandalism in name of protest

SC issues guidelines to deter vandalism in name of protest

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued guidelines to deter acts of vandalism and hooliganism carried out in the name of public protests.

The Apex Court passed the ruling while hearing a plea filed by Kodungallur Film Society, which had sought framing of guidelines in this regard.

The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in this regard was filed at the time of release of director Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s magnum opus Padmaavat, when Rajput groups, including the Karni Sena, had launched nationwide protests and resorted to vandalism, alleging that the Ranveer Singh, Dipika Padukone-starrer showed queen Padmavati”>Padmavati in bad light.

Earlier, a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, also comprising Justices AM Khanwilkar and DY Chandrachud had termed the incidents of vandalism of private and public properties by various groups during protests across the country as “grave”.

The top court had observed that it will issue detailed guidelines for curbing such acts carried out by mobs in the name of protests.

Attorney General KK Venugopal had lashed out at the police for failing to take stringent action against those who caused loss by destroying private and public property.
“Responsibility should be fixed on authorities like the Superintendent of Police of the area, in cases of vandalism and rioting,” Venugopal had told the court.

The Kodungallur Film Society approached the court seeking implementation of the guidelines framed by the top court in 2009 in one of its judgements.

In the 2009 judgement, the top court had issued a slew of directions, and ordered that organisers of any protests shall be personally held accountable for the loss of private and public property in the protest.

Police authorities were asked to videograph such protests so that accountability could be fixed.

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