Maratha Reservation Row: Bombay HC Refuses To Restrain Jarange Patil's Entry In Mumbai; Says, 'State Has Power To Act..'

Maratha Reservation Row: Bombay HC Refuses To Restrain Jarange Patil's Entry In Mumbai; Says, 'State Has Power To Act..'

Jarange Patil has started a rally comprising over one lakh people to enter Mumbai to press their demand for reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and education.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, January 25, 2024, 12:15 PM IST
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Bombay HC | File

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday refused to pass any order restraining Manoj Jarenge Patil from marching in the city but said that the State Government has the power to take necessary action to ensure that city roads are not blocked. Following this, the state counsels assured the court that they would take necessary steps to maintain law and order situation. "The State will take all necessary measures to prevent blockage of public way which will cause inconvenience and will try to designate a public place, at the appropriate place, before the agitators to assemble and have their peaceful agitation," a division bench of Justices Ajey Gadkari and Shyam Chandak on Wednesday. 

The court issued a notice to activist Jarange Patil  

The court also issued notice to Jarange-Patil while hearing a petition by Gunaratan Sadavarte seeking that the court restrain his entry in the city as it could cause law and order problems. The court said, "Issue notice to respondent 9 (Jarange Patil), to be served through the senior police inspector of the Azad Maidan police station." 

Earlier Advocate General Birendra Saraf and public prosecutor Hiten Venegavkar suggested that the court could pass an order to stop Jarange Patil from entering the city. "If possible, then the court can stop them," Saraf said. Saraf said that the state cannot stop people from protesting, but it could not do so in the manner Jarange Patil was suggesting, bringing lakhs of people to the heart of the city in bullock carts and tractors. 

'Such kind of occupation of public ways… is not acceptable' stressed HC

The court then pointed out that the Supreme Court, in a matter related to Shahin Baug in Delhi, has emphasised that "such kind of occupation of public ways…is not acceptable" and "administration ought to take action to keep the areas clear of encroachments or obstructions." Also, the Supreme Court has said that protest has to be peaceful. People had protested in Shahin Baug opposing the central government's plan to bring in the Citizen Amendment Act.

"The State can take appropriate measures to ensure roads are not blocked…Respondent 9 (Jarange Patil) is not before us, so we cannot pass an order against him," Justice Gadkari said. Saraf then assured the court that they would take steps as per the Supreme Court order. 

Maratha activist Jarange Patil to enter Mumbai to protest against Maha govt 

Jarange Patil has started a rally comprising over one lakh people to enter Mumbai to press their demand for reservation for the Maratha community in government jobs and education. He will be sitting at Azad Maidan until the government grants the reservation. 

Saraf submitted that they are taking necessary steps to prevent law and order situation. He expressed that the state was equally concerned, considering a large number of people were marching towards Mumbai. "If so many people enter Mumbai and it goes out of their control… If you want to protest, the state can't stop you. But you can't do it in such a way," said Saraf. He expressed apprehension that the situation could get volatile and the whole city could come to a standstill. 

'Protestors to be provided with a place outside Mumbai,' suggested Advo Saraf

In a court query, Saraf said they have not granted or rejected permission for a protest at Azad Maidan since they have not received any formal application for the same. Saraf suggested that they be provided with a place outside Mumbai to hold their protest. He said that with such a large number of people gathered, the situation could also get out of hand for the leader. 

Sadavrte submitted that, unfortunately, no action was being taken against Jarange Patil since the ministers were divided on the issues. "Here Chagan Bhujbal is saying it is not correct (manner in which Jarange Patil is seeking reservation). But other hand Maratha ministers like Vhike patil and others say it's correct. An NCP leader has said they will support him," submitted Sadavarte.

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