The Republican Party of India (Secular) has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court against the Mumbai Police for being denied permission to hold a peaceful assembly at Shivaji Park to mark the death anniversary of B R Ambedkar on Sunday.
It has accused the Mumbai Police of favouring parties which are supporting the state government.
The petition, which will be heard Friday, has stated that the party, based in Ambernath, applied to the police on November 18 for permission to organise a public meeting, several days before ‘Mahaparinirvan Divas’ observed annually on December 6. On December 1, however, its application was rejected by the police on “completely frivolous and false grounds”.
The letter sent by Shivaji Park police station has cited that the application was being rejected because the RPI (Secular) had not provided details of previous permission letters. “We give permission only to those parties which have been given permission in previous years and for whom space has been allotted,” the police’s letter has said.
Contradicting the police’s claims, the RPI (secular) has stated that it had obtained permission from the police in 2013 and 2014.
In its petition, the party has added, “The police has promptly given permission to other factions of the republican party, especially the ones supporting the parties in power in Maharashtra — the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena.”
Adding that other parties erect huge stages and host several state cabinet ministers, the petition has alleged that “the police department and the municipal administration are openly and brazenly supporting those factions of the republican party which have formed an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena.”
The petitioner, Avinash Kharat of the RPI (secular), has also said in the petition that his constitutional right of equality before law and the right to peaceful assembly was “suppressed” by the police’s rejection.
“It is unfortunate, especially in the background of the just concluded two-day session of the parliament to commemorate Ambedkar’s drafting of the Constitution. The petitioner will take this matter to the next level as per constitutional provisions and this will be his tribute to the architect of the Constitution of India,” said Kharat’s lawyer, advocate Kanishk Jayant.