Bill to restrict processions, roadside meetings introduced

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Thiruvananthapuram, Feb 16 (PTI) A legislation to restrictprocessions and meetings on public roads was introduced in theKerala Assembly to overcome a recent Supreme Court rulingprohibiting gatherings on roadsides.

The ''Kerala Public Ways (restriction of assemblies andprocessions) Bill-2011'' stated that prohibitory orders mightaffect the conduct of religious functions like ''AttukalPongala'' and ''Thrissur Pooram'', which would in turn inviteprotests from public.

Therefore it has become necessary to make a legislation toenable the government to impose reasonable restrictions on thepublic using roads for meetings, the bill said.

The bill, introduced by Home Minister KodiyeriBalakrishnan was referred to Assembly Subject Committeewithout debate.

The bill was brought in view of the famous Attukal Pongalahere on February 19, where lakhs of people participate.

Seconding the legislation, Opposition leader Oommen Chandysaid the House had already arrived at a consensus on the bill.

A ruling by Supreme Court on January this year upheld thejudgement of the Kerala High Court prohibiting public meetingson roadsides in the state.

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