Assembly and expression of thought and protest are fundamental rights, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court observed and quashed the First Information Report registered against a group of protesters in Madurai.
Justice G. Ilangovan observed that even though they had not obtained prior permission, they had only exercised their fundamental right. In 2019, a group of 15 members had staged a demonstration in front of the American College condemning the Pollachi sexual assault incident.
The petitioners challenged the FIR registered against them. They said that the protest was peaceful and no untoward incident or unlawful activity took place. The court took note of the fact that there was no public nuisance and the FIR stated that the group, without prolonging the demonstration, disbursed when the police arrived and asked them to disburse. There was no intention to cause inconvenience to the public, the court said.
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