No more protests at Chennai’s Marina beach, rules Madras HC

Chennai: The Madras high court on Monday refused to allow protests on Chennai’s Marina beach in an effort to maintain law and order, upholding the decision of the Tamil Nadu government.

Emphasising on the need to maintain public order, the court quashed the order passed by Justice T Raja in April that allowed the leader of National South Indian River Interlinking Agriculturist Association, P Ayyakannu, to protest at the beach. Ayyakannu sought to organise a fast on the beach to highlight the plight of farmers in relation to the formation of the Cauvery Water Management Authority and was granted permission by Justice Raja. However, the court’s order was challenged by the state government.

Justice Raja had said, “Had the then British government banned Marina Beach from being used for any public meeting, Marina would not have witnessed the presence of Mahatma Gandhi and Thilakar on its sands for the noble cause of Freedom. Therefore, when the then British government itself did not think of banning the demonstrations at the Marina Beach, this court is not inclined to accept the submissions made by the respondent.”

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]After the Jallikattu protests that took place in Tamil Nadu in 2017, a prohibitory order to protest at Marina beach was put in place [/box]