Mumbai: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court seeking direction to the Maharashtra Government to implement the Centre's circular which asked to ring out sirens on Jan 30 to mark Mahatma Gandhi's death anniversary as well as the Martyrs Day.
The PIL filed by activist Feroz Mithiborewala was mentioned on Friday by his Advocate Avinash Gokhale. The division bench of Acting Chief Justice SV Gangapurwala and Justice Sandeep Marne has kept it for hearing on Jan 30.
The Ministry of Home Affairs' has issued a circular on Jan 7, 2022 to all state government/union territory administrations directing that on Jan 30 every year two minutes of silence will be observed at 11am in the memory of those who sacrificed their lives during the Indian freedom struggle. It stated that all work and movement should be stopped throughout the country. The commencement and termination of the two minutes silence period are indicated by the sound of sirens or army guns. The circular further adds that talks or speeches on the freedom struggle and national integration may be organised in hybrid mode.
According to the PIL, the circular issued by the Maharashtra Government on Jan 27, 2022, failed to mention the "vital part" of activities on national integration. The plea read, “The petitioner states that the main reason behind issuing the circular for Martyrs Day is to give tribute, respect and honour Gandhiji's sacrifices and to create awareness among the people with respect to the same.”
The petitioner said that he has learnt through the Right to Information application that most police stations in Mumbai do not have siren alarm systems to alert citizens. Besides, available sirens can be used for ceremonial or security purposes, fire safety measures or in case of any natural calamity.
The HC also observes two minutes silence on Martyrs Day by ringing the siren, added the plea.
On Jan 10, 2023, the Centre again issued a circular similar to its 2022 communication.
Centre's 2022 circular asks to stop all work for 2 mins on Jan 30
Observance should start from 11am
State Govt's circular fails to mention vital parts of activities
RTI reply reveals Mumbai police stations don't have sirens
Available sirens can be used for ceremonial or security purposes, etc
Centre issues another circular on Jan 10, 2023
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