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Suvendu Adhikari files PIL against Abhishek Banerjee over blocking of NHs during rallies

IANS | May 25, 2023 02:40 PM

KOLKATA: Leader of Opposition in West Bengal Assembly Suvendu Adhikari on Thursday filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) at the Calcutta High Court against Trinamool Congress national general secretary Abhishek Banerjee alleging obstruction of national highways without permission during a political rallies by the latter.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing at the division bench of Calcutta High Court's Chief Justice T.S. Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya on June 7.

In the PIL, Adhikari's counsel has alleged that during the ongoing mass outreach programme of Banerjee, he had conducted rallies on the national highways at Itahar in North Dinajpur district and Farakka in Murshidabad district without prior permission this month.

As per The National Highways Act, 1956, conducting a rally or procession by blocking the national highways without prior permission is an offense, he added.

Meanwhile, Adhikari has filed another petition seeking permission to conduct a political rally at Malda on May 27. He has moved the court after his application for the said rally was rejected by the district police on grounds that the permission was sought less than 15 days before the day of the programme.

Adhikari's counsel has argued that since there was no provision for online application the delay happened.

Recently, the police also denied permission to Adhikari to conduct a rally at Shyampur in Howrah district of West Bengal. But the BJP leader managed to participate in the rally by getting court's permission.

Justice Rajasekhar Mantha of the Calcutta High Court also questioned the reluctance of the state administration in granting permission to rallies or public meetings especially in case of opposition parties or on any issue that goes against the state government.

He also questioned why every time individuals or groups have to approach the court for permission.

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