The Allahabad High Court has issued fresh notices to the chief election commissioner and major political parties in Uttar Pradesh, seeking their response on why there should not be a complete ban on caste-based rallies.
The Lucknow bench of the high court also sought to know why the election commission should not take action if such rallies are held, and fixed December 15 as the next date of hearing.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Jaspreet Singh passed the order recently on an old PIL filed by local lawyer Motilal Yadav. The petitioner had sought a ban on caste-based rallies in Uttar Pradesh.
Earlier, when the court had heard the matter on July 11, 2013, it put an interim ban on organising caste-based rallies in the state. The bench had also issued notices to the state’s four main political parties – BJP, Samajwadi Party, BSP and Congress – for their response.
Even after nine years, none of the political parties have submitted their response nor has the chief election commissioner, the bench noted.
Expressing concerns at this, the bench issued the fresh notices.
In its order passed in 2013, the bench observed, “The unrestricted freedom to hold caste-based rallies, which is to the total disliking and beyond the comprehension of the modern generation and also being contrary to the public interest, cannot be justified. It will rather be an act of negating the rule of law and denying the fundamental rights to citizens." “In their attempt to seek political base in the caste system by means of politicisation, it appears that the political parties have seriously disturbed the social fabric and cohesiveness. It has rather resulted in causing social fissions," it had also said.
The petitioner has submitted that because of such anti-democratic activities of political parties designed to woo the votes of majority groups, caste minorities have been reduced to a category of second class citizens in their own country.
“Despite the clear constitutional provisions and the fundamental rights enshrined therein, they are feeling disillusioned, dismayed and betrayed because of being placed in disadvantageous position in the number game of vote politics," the petitioner has added.
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