On Friday the Kerala High Court bench comprising Justice PV Kunhikrishnan in the case of R Ramaraja Varma v State of Kerala observed that While hearing a case involving a protest organised by the Popular Front of India in which a minor kid was seen raising offensive slogans.
The Kerala High Court ruled on Friday that the organisers of political gatherings are also liable for any inflammatory slogans yelled by rally participants.
The organisers, according to Justice PV Kunhikrishnan, have a responsibility to control the participants’ behaviour.
“If a member of a rally raises provocative slogans, the persons who organize the rally is also responsible. If a rally is conducted, it is the duty of the leaders to control the members of the rally,“The court said
The remarks were made at a hearing into a case involving a rally held by the Popular Front of India on May 21, during which a minor kid was heard shouting offensive slogans.
A video of the youngster in the march, sitting on the shoulders of an older man, raising similar slogans, went popular on social media.
The Court stated that it is of the prima facie conclusion that the organisers of the protests were to blame, and that if the police investigation reveals that there was some collusion between the organisers and those who shouted aggressive slogans, the police must take appropriate punishment.
“Whether the members of the rally raised the slogan with the knowledge of the leaders or whether there is any connivance between the leaders who organized the rally with the persons who raised provocative slogans is a matter to be investigated by the police. Prima facie, they are responsible. So they should be implicated as accused in the case and the police should investigate the matter. But I make it clear that, the police should investigate the matter untrammeled by any observation in this judgment. The Police officers will do the needful in accordance to law against all persons who violated the law of the land.With the above observation, this writ petition is closed,”The Court said
The Court was examining a plea filed the day before the demonstrations, asking for a ban on public conferences, marches, mass drills, and motorcycle rallies during the PFI’s ‘Jana Maha Sammelanam’ in Alappuzha on Saturday, May 21.
The petitioner claimed that violent battles have erupted in the Alappuzha district in recent months, claiming multiple political assassinations by cadres from different political parties.
The severe attacks were followed by provocative statements, which resulted in crimes being reported to various police stations throughout the district, according to the plea.
On May 20, the court accepted the appeal and asked the district police head to secure the rally’s law and order.
A report given by the Deputy Superintendent of Police, Alappuzha, was placed on record by the Government Pleader today.
According to the report, the Alappuzha Police Department has filed two criminal complaints against the Bajrang Dal and the PFI. The investigating officer in charge of both cases will conduct an investigation and submit a report to the competent court as soon as practicable.
It was also brought to the Court’s attention that a crime had been filed in connection with the offensive slogans shouted by PFI demonstration attendees.
The Court dismissed the petition after making observations about the level of responsibility that can be attributed to the organisers of such protests.
Another Supreme Court justice, Justice Gopinath P, recently raised concerns about minors being forced to participate in political demonstrations and shout provocative slogans.
“Are they not fostering a new generation that grows up with this religious hatred in mind? I was just wondering about the fact that when this child grows and he becomes a major, his mind will already be conditioned to this kind of rhetoric. Something must be done,“The Court Noted
Children should not be allowed to participate in such protests, according to Justice Gopinath.