Image source: keralakaumudi.com
The Kerala High Court last week quashed a criminal complaint against former Ernakulam MLA Dominic Presentation for leading a 'human rights protection' procession in 2017 and observed that Leading peaceful and non violent procession is a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(b) of the Constitution of India. A criminal case offence under Secs 143, 147, 283 r/w 149 of the Indian Penal Code was registered against the former legislator in 2018 for causing obstruction to the general public and vehicles by conducting the procession in allegiance to the human rights protection procession led by V.M.Sudheer KPCC president in protest of arrest of two 'dalith' girls in Thalssery. By filing a petition under Section 482 CrPC before the High Court, the Ex-MLA contended that holding a peaceful and orderly demonstration by way of protest is an exercise of fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19(1)(a) and 19(1)(b) of the Constitution of India. Justice Anitha emphasized that all processions or marches were not to be similarly treated but that it would have to be viewed in the light of its own facts. From the material produced, there was nothing to show that the procession, in this case, had turned violent or disorderly and the case was disposed of.