The Karnataka High Court on Friday upheld an order of the Bangalore police commissioner barring All India Majilis-e-Ittedahul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and member of parliament Asaduddin Owaisi from entering the city and participating in a public rally on April 25.
The Bangalore police had earlier this week barred the MIM chief from entering the city from April 24 to 28 to attend an MIM rally scheduled for April 25.
The police had cited previous cases registered against the MIM chief for alleged hate speeches to bar his entry into the city. It was the second occasion in less than months that Owaisi was being barred from leading an MIM rally at the Chota Maidan in the largely Muslim locality of Shivajinagar in central Bangalore.
Arguing on behalf of Owaisi in the high court senior counsel Sajjan Poovayya said that Owaisi has been a representative of the people for the past 20 years and was the recipient of the ‘Sansad Ratna Award’ for best parliamentarian in 2014.
“He is not a Pakistani national that he must obtain a permit for every city that he visits. If it is a question of law and order then the police must bring in additional forces. The constitutional right of speech and expression of Owaisi must not be suppressed,” Poovayya argued.
The Additional Advocate General A S Ponnanna however argued that Owaisi’s speeches disturb the secular fabric of society. Owaisi has a habit of delivering inflammatory speeches, he said.
“In every speech he provokes and creates doubts in the minds of the people against the state and its agency,” Ponnanna said. He also argued that Owasi had failed to give satisfactory responses to a show-cause notice issued by the police commissioner. Justice S Abdul Nazeer of the Karnataka high court disposed the matter after noting Owaisi’s past record and stating that the police order was not illegal.
In February this year police commissioner MN Reddi had prohibited Owaisi from attending a proposed MIM rally in the city that was coinciding with a Vishwa Hindu Parishad rally where right wing leader Praveen Togadia had been barred for attending.
At that time Togadia had challenged the police order in the high court and the court had upheld the commissioner’s order. Owaisi had at that time not challenged the police order in the high court.