After a day-long legal tussle over Shiromani Akali Dal’s rally scheduled in Faridkot on Sunday, the Punjab and Haryana High Court late Saturday evening gave the party the green signal but with restrictions on certain routes leading to the rally site. Punjab government cited intelligence inputs against the rally and challenged the decision of a single-judge bench which ex-parte had allowed the Akalis to hold the rally.
With the Congress government on Friday denying Akalis the permission to hold the rally, the issue had reached court.
According to the order, “The route from Bajakhana to Kotkapura via Bargari has been shut down and the alternate route is from Bajakhana to Kotkapura via Jaito, provided people taking the alternative route would be allowed to access the Kotkapura to Faridkot highway… route from Kotkapura to Faridkot may be shut down and alternate route should be provided.”
With the Congress government on Friday denying Akalis the permission to hold the rally, the issue had reached the court on Friday itself with SAD seeking an urgent hearing. Late Friday night, the case was ordered to be listed before the single-judge bench of Justice Rakesh Kumar Jain.
When it came up for hearing on Saturday, senior advocate Ashok Aggarwal, who represented the SAD, said that the executive order had no sanction of law and violated the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. Agarwal argued that ‘Pol Khol Rally’ was a series of public meetings held by the party, which had been successfully held.