HC introduces guidelines for public meetings

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Chennai, Jun 13 (UNI) Giving relief to the general public, the first Bench of Madras High Court issued seven guidelines, fixing a three-hour time limit and slapping a ban on meetings after 2200 hrs.

The Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, issued the guidelines for public meetings to ease the hardships faced by the public, while granting permission for holding meetings in a public street in the city.

Laying down the guidelines, the Bench said obstructions should not be allowed for more than three hours at a stretch and during rush hours.

Loudspeakers or amplifiers used for the meetings should not be allowed to play at a level higher than the permissible decibel limit under Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) rules 2000, the Bench said.

'' Under no circumstances should such meetings be allowed to continue beyond 2200 hrs. After the meeting is over, the parties or organisations, which held the programme, should dismantle the temporary structure and restore the road to its original position, including filling the potholes,'' the Bench said.

It said only a portion of the road could be blocked for holding public meetings and the Commissioners of Police and the Chennai Corporation should ensure that the entire portion of the road was not blocked.

On damages, the Bench said it was open to the Corporation Commissioner to levy charges or damages in compliance with the relevant statutory rules and the parties holding such meetings should deposit the same before the permission was granted.

UNI XR/WS RSA KP1604

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