Opposition Forces Reversal Of Police Order Prohibiting MPs' March

17/03/2015 8:29 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
Congress party President Sonia Gandhi, center, Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Sitaram Yechury, center left, Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav, center right, Congress party leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, top, and other lawmakers gather at parliament house to participate in a march against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s Land Acquisition Bill in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Opposition lawmakers led by Gandhi marched from Parliament house to the Presidential Palace protesting against the bill that they termed as anti-farmer and pro-corporate, Press Trust of India reported. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

NEW DELHI — Opposition in Parliament today forced reversal of a Delhi Police order which prohibited a march by MPs of several parties to Rashtrapati Bhawan over land bill. Opposition members in Rajya Sabha condemned a Delhi Police order which denied the permission for the march slated for this evening citing prohibitory orders in place around Parliament House complex. Terming it as a "serious issue" and "highly objectionable", opposition members sought protection of their fundamental rights.

Delhi Police had written to political parties which were to participate in the protest, saying "...prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr.PC (prohibiting assembly of four or more people at one place) are in promulgation in the areas surrounding the Parliament House. "In view of the above, it is informed that any foot march in the form of a procession will be in violation of the prohibitory orders as no permission has been taken. It is, therefore, requested that the Hon'able Members of Parliament may be advised to not to proceed to R.P.Bhawan in procession."

The police order came as MPs of several opposition parties, including Congress, Trinamool, Samajwadi Party, CPI(M) and CPI were preparing to march from Parliament to the President House and meet President Pranab Mukherjee to register their opposition to the land bill. The issue was raised by Naresh Agarwal of Samajwadi Party and he was joined by members of Congress, Left and other opposition parties.

They raised an uproar.

Initially, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said no MP could be denied the permission to meet the President and that he would check if such orders had been issued. Later, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman P J Kurien said a copy of a Delhi Police letter received by MPs has been "verified".

"I have given a direction to the government to reconsider it. Naqvi has assured. Home Secretary and Commissioner of Police told me that there is no bar," Kurien said. "They have given instructions as promised, unless you do some unlawful activities. Home Secretary said that it has been removed and nothing is there to worry. Those who want to march they can go."

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "Concerned office orders have been issued. We are against violation of democratic rights. We are strongly committed for democratic rights." The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha also.

Responding to it, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu said, "In democracy there are regulations.. Just because you are in democracy things cannot happen without rules... In a democracy certain permissions need to be taken. They did their duty..." "There is no conspiracy. The local police have been asked not to stop the MPs," he added.

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