The Calcutta High Court has passed an interim order granting permission for a public meeting i.e., Janasabha of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which was earlier denied permission by the Keshpur Police Station.

A Single Bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha said, “This Court is unable to appreciate as to how or why a permission already granted by the President of the Village Committee can be objected to by the same person at a subsequent stage. The Officer-in-charge, Keshpur Police Station has further communicated that there are two other persons who had submitted objections for holding of a meeting.

The Bench has listed the matter for hearing on May 10, 2023.

Advocates Subir Sanyal and Loknath Chatterjee appeared on behalf of the petitioner while AAG Samrat Sen appeared on behalf of the State.

In this case, late evening on April 17, 2023, the Officer-in-Charge of the Keshpur police station is alleged to have wrongly and illegally cancelled permission to BJP for holding a public meeting at Biswanathpur Patna (Hat Chala), Keshpur, despite permissions having been granted earlier. Challenging the refusal, a writ petition was filed before the High Court by the petitioner Sandip Dhuli.

The High Court noted, “This Court notes that at best there are two persons, who are objecting to a meeting being held on a village ground. The village and its Market Committee obviously comprise of more than two persons and definitely a much larger number. … A President of the Market Committee having once granted permission to hold a meeting on the Market Ground very mysteriously withdraws and objects to his own consent and/or permission. … The matter needs to be enquired into.”

The Court directed that the President of the Market Committee be added as a party respondent and asked him and the State to file an affidavit-in-opposition within two weeks.

“The added respondent shall indicate in his affidavit under what circumstances he had granted the permission in the first place and as to why the permission has been objected to subsequently in a short span of time”, directed the Court.

The Court further said that the petitioner and his associates may hold the meeting as proposed since all arrangements have been made and that the police shall make possible arrangements within the time before formal communication of the order.

“The gist of the order may be communicated by Mr. Md. Galib, advocate for the State, to the Officer-in-charge, Keshpur Police Station immediately”, also directed the Court.

Cause Title- Sandip Dhuli v. The State of West Bengal & Ors.

Click here to read/download the Order