SC clears decks for Chiranjeevi's rally at Tirupati

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New Delhi, Aug 21 (UNI) The Supreme Court today cleared the decks for a rally to be held by film star Chiranjeevi on August 26 at Avilala Tank at Tirupati, Andhra Pradesh.

A bench comprising Justices B N Agarwal, Harjit Singh Bedi and G S Singhvi refused to interfere with the permission granted by Andhra Pradesh government to the film star to hold a rally in 176 acres Avilala Tank where Chiranjeevi is going to announce the formation and the name of his political party.

Senior Counsel L Nageshwar Rao appearing for the petitioner NGO Intellectual Forum earlier submitted before the court that entire vegetation was being removed by the organisers of the rally, which would adversely affect the already low ground water table.

Mr Rao also contended that the permission for the rally where around 10,00,000 people are expected to assemble on August 26, has been granted in violation of the earlier directions of the apex court to maintain status quo in relation to Avilala Tank situated near the holy temple of Tirupati Balaji.

According to Mr Rao, status quo order was issued in 1997.

The court was, however, not impressed by the contentions raised by Mr Rao and was about to dismiss the petition when Mr Rao contended that he wanted to argue further on other aspects.

The court then directed that the petition would be heard on the date to be notified by the Supreme Court Registry.

Senior counsel Ruington Nariman appeared for the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The judges made it clear that they see no violation of the Supreme Court order and also did not agree with the plea of the petitioners that the ground water level would be adversely affected due to the public rally.

There are about 30 tanks at Tirupati for recharging and harvesting water.

UNI SC SLD RP HT1525

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