For protests in Panchkula, organisers have to reveal property, bank details
Will be liable to pay for any damages caused by protesters; prior permission must from SDM, as per the standard operating procedure readied by Haryana government
Organisers of protests and rallies in Panchkula will have to submit details of their bank accounts and assets, and will be liable to pay for any damages caused by agitators, says the new standard operating procedure (SOP) finalised by the Haryana government to deal with traffic disruptions and vandalism.
The SOP details that no protest can be held without permission from the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) that has to be taken 10 days in advance. Protesters cannot disrupt vehicular movement neither within Panchkula nor outside, and separate permission will be required for marching towards Chandigarh.
The SOP was cleared by the Haryana director general of police (DGP) on May 2 and submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court on May 4.
It was prepared by the civil administration, police and officials of the Chandigarh administration in a joint exercise following high court orders.
During the hearing on May 4, the UT administration said the affidavit as filed by the Panchkula deputy commissioner was in consultation and in consonance with the coordinated decision taken by Haryana as well as Chandigarh. The said affidavit, therefore, may be taken as one on behalf of Chandigarh as well, UT’s counsel told the court.
The SOP was submitted in a public interest litigation filed by one Neetu Bajaj, a doctor, and Shivani Sahni, a lawyer, after sarpanches protesting against Haryana government’s e-tendering policy had laid siege to the Chandigarh-Panchkula border on March 1.
Residents of Panchkula, the duo had sought directions to the administration to remove the blockade, as it was resulting in huge traffic jams on the roads between Panchkula and Chandigarh. The high court had then ordered the police to clear the road of protesters and sought an SOP from the administration to deal with such protests in the future.
New standard operating procedure enforced
Application for holding protest march/dharna be submitted 10 days in advance to Panchkula SDM, who can allow the rally/protest with reasonable restrictions
SDM may call for a report from police, civic administration before granting permission
Organisers may be asked to offer bonds/surety before granting permission
If SDM denies permission, appeal to be entertained by the district magistrate
DM will mark sites where rallies/protest can be held within city
No permission will be granted if the organisers don’t undertake that they will not block movement of persons and goods within and outside Panchkula roads
No permission will be given to hold rallies/marches beyond Panchkula
Separate permission is required from the Chandigarh administration if the rally or march has to enter Chandigarh
No animals will be allowed in the protest
Loudspeakers can only be used during period permitted by SDM
Tents and temporary structures will be allowed at designated sites
Protest should be planned during a period that causes least inconvenience to residents
The administration will notify timings of rally to general public through different modes to avoid inconvenience
SDM can withdraw permission if there is apprehension of disruption of public order. If not complied with, police to pitch in
If protest turns violent, police to ensure that it is videographed and DM to be immediately informed
Conditions for organisers
Organisers will have to give details of route, number of persons attending the rally, names and addresses of five persons responsible for proper conduct of rally and vehicles to be used
Organisers to undertake protest will be peaceful and no one will carry weapons
They will be responsible for conduct and behaviour of participants, and will be responsible for loss of life/damage caused to a person/property
Organisers to submit immovable and movable property details, along with bank details on an application form
If number of protesters is more than 2,000, organisers will have to requisition a fire tender.