CoP Kamal Pant directs officials to Enforce newly enacted licensing and Regulation of Protest in Bengaluru

Pramesh S Jain & Yogesh K Porwar

City police commissioner Kamal Pant on Thursday directed the officials to enforce the newly enacted,Licensing and Regulation of Protests,Demonstrations and Protest Marches
(Bengaluru city)Order, 2021.

The new order came to force soon after getting published in the state gazette notification on January 10.

As per the new rules,No protests, demonstrations,dharnas or protest marches shall be allowed in Bengaluru city without obtaining the license under this order.

The Licensing Authority shall approve the number of persons for holding protest at Freedom Park, depending on type of programme,duration and available capacity at the venue.

The venue for protests in Bengaluru City is identified as Freedom Park.

However,depending on situation,Commissioner of Police may also designate any other suitable place in the city for said purpose.

The order was brought in force after the High Court of Karnataka initiated a suo moto Writ Petition (WP 5781/2021) with regard to certain news items stating that large scale protests and processions held in the heart of the city of Bengaluru in an unorganized manner,adversely affect traffic movement,which cause huge vehicular congestion.

These protests thereby caused untold hardship to the citizens.

The High Court directed the State Government to evolve a proper mechanism for regulation of processions and protests to ensure that people do not suffer and keeping in view the law laid down by the the Supreme Court of India in Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan vs Union of India .

Multiple protests in a day may be allowed at Freedom Park subject to availability of suitable timings, in a manner not inconveniencing the commuters and other citizens.

Protests or the Demonstrations may be allowed at other places within Bengaluru city, excluding prohibited areas,for a limited number of persons, as prescribed by the Licensing Authority.

Any violations of the order will be liable for prosecution under Karnataka police act and also under section 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of IPC.

The organizers shall make provisions for the vehicle parking as per the directions of the Licensing Authority.

No tractors,trolleys,bullock-carts, cycle-rickshaws,or hand-driven carts shall be allowed.

No animals like horses,elephants,camels,cattle etc.Would be allowed in a rally or dharna.

No protestor shall carry lathi,any type of weapon or inflammable material or any other material which can be used as an instrument of aggression/violence.

No loudspeaker or public address system shall be used at the venue of the protest or dharna without specific permission from the Licensing Authority.

ii.If the permission is obtained, loudspeakers shall be used only between 11 AM to 5 PM as per the undertaking before the Licensing Authority.

(the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 framed under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and in compliance of the Hon’ble Supreme Court orders ) .

No vehicle mounted with sound system will be permitted at the place of protest or during the protest march,which can make sound more than permissible limit.

Duration of the protest in a day will be decided by the Licensing Authority,which causes least inconvenience to other citizens.

All protests shall be held within the time period prescribed by the Licensing Authority.In case of any sudden development or exigency,the Licensing Authority may,in writing direct the organizers to change the timings or close the protest any time prior to the permitted time limit, including those in progress.

The Licensing Authority may refuse, grant of license for conduct of protest march or protest considering says the order.