The Calcutta High Court allowed a plea challenging an order of the police officials denying permission for a Tiranga Rally on Republic Day.

The Court remarked that every citizen in the country takes pride in the Tricolor. It aqnoted that fostering respect and dignity for the Tricolor contributes to building a national identity, unity, and a patriotic spirit. Hence, organizing a Tiranga Rally on Republic Day was considered appropriate.

The Bench of Justice Rajasekhar Mantha observed, “every citizen of this country takes pride in the Tri-colour. To promote respect and dignity for the same is to promote of building of a National identity, unity and a patriotic gesture. It is apt and appropriate to hold a Tiranga Rally on Republic Day”.

Advocate Rajdeep Majumder appeared for the Petitioner and Advocate General Kishore Datta appeared for the Respondent.

The petitioner was discontented with an order issued by the Inspector-in-charge of Hasnabad Police Station on January 22, 2024, rejecting permission for a Tiranga Yatra Rally from Hasnabad Bakultala to Barunhat Hospital More, scheduled between 12 Noon to 4:00 P.M. on January 26, 2024. The Petitioner expressed intentions for around 3000 participants in the rally, aimed at commemorating and celebrating the national tricolour.

The Court noted that three reasons were provided for rejecting permission for the rally. The first reason cited was the celebration of Republic Day by schools, colleges, clubs, and organizations, requiring police security. However, the Court observed that functions on Republic Day are mostly held in the morning, with minimal police deployment at such institutions, making this ground unsustainable.

The Bench noted that the second argument was the rally's proximity to 'Taki Town,' which attracts tourists on holidays. The Court observed that while there may be limited police personnel for crowd control, holidays are generally peaceful, and disturbances are unlikely.

The Court observed that the third argument involved a request from the Border Security Force for police representation on specific dates. The Court noted that sending one police representative would cause a shortage of staff for the rally.

Another ground mentioned was the refusal of similar rally proposals by other political outfits, which the Court deemed irrelevant.

Furthermore, the Court emphasized the promotion of national identity and unity through such rallies and directed the Hasnabad Police Station to permit the petitioner's rally on the specified date and time, with the petitioner ensuring no obstruction to emergency services.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the Writ Petition.

Cause Title: Sanjib Kumar Sau v The State of West Bengal & Ors.

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