The Calcutta High Court granted permission for a two-day sit-in protest by the BJP in Kolkata, with a directive that the number of participants should not exceed 150 individuals.

The demonstration, approved to take place in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Maidan, will have to be conducted without the use of loudspeakers and is scheduled between 10 am and 6 pm on Wednesday and Thursday.

A Bench of Justice Kausik Chanda said, “Needless to mention that right to assemble peaceably, freedom to speech and expression are guaranteed under Article 19 of the Constitution of India. Such rights, however, may be subject to reasonable restrictions imposed by the State.”

The petitioner, identified as the Office Secretary of the West Bengal Bharatiya Janata Party, sought permission for a sit-in demonstration in Kolkata's Maidan area. Despite obtaining permission from the Lieutenant Colonel, Head Quarter Bengal, Sub Area, the Joint Commissioner of Police, Kolkata, denied the request citing prohibitory orders regarding the use of microphones and loudspeakers during ongoing secondary and higher secondary examinations, as well as concerns about potential law and order issues and traffic congestion.

The BJP intended to stage this protest in response to alleged atrocities by certain local Trinamool Congress leaders in Sandeshkhali, North 24 Parganas district.

The Court balanced the rights to assemble peaceably and freedom of speech with the state's responsibility to impose reasonable restrictions.

The Court granted permission for the demonstration on February 28th and 29th, with specific conditions: no loudspeakers, a maximum of 150 demonstrators, assurance of lawful conduct, protection of public property, no obstruction to traffic or inconvenience to pedestrians, and a timeframe of 10 am to 6 pm for the demonstrations.

A senior advocate's request for a stay of the order was rejected, and all parties were instructed to adhere to the order as obtained from the official website of the court.

Cause Title: Pranoy Roy v. The State of West Bengal & Ors.


Petitioner: Advocates Soumya Majumdar, Srijib Chakraborty, Kaustav Ch. Das, Rini Bhattacharyya, Lokenath Chatterjee and Atanu Basu

Respondents: Advocates Kishore Dutta, Biswabrata Basu Mallick and Debangshu Dinda

Click here to read/download Order