The Madras High Court today upheld the Tamil Nadu government’s decision to prohibit holding protests at Marina Beach in Chennai.
The court observed that the beach can’t be used for agitations as public order is equally important.
A bench, comprising Justice KK Sasidharan and Justice R Subramanian, quashed the order passed by Justice T Raja in April that gave permission to P Ayyakannu, the leader of National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association, to hold a protest at the beach.
The division bench, which had earlier temporarily stayed the order of the single judge, has now passed the final order setting aside the order.
On April 28, the single judge granted permission to hold the protest despite strong objection from the state. “Had the then British government banned Marina Beach from being used for any public meeting, Marina would not have witnessed the presence of Mahatma Gandhi and Tilakar on its sands for the noble cause of freedom,” the judge said justifying his order.
Ayyakannu moved the high court after the city police refused to let him protest at the beach. In his petition, Ayyakannu had said that there were plans for a 90-day hunger strike on the Cauvery matter and only if it was held at Marina, would it attract attention.