The Madras HC quashes proceedings against 11 law students for raising slogans against the Sri Lankan Govt.

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The criminal cases against 11 law college students that were scheduled to be heard by a magistrate court in George Town have been dismissed by the Madras High Court. Aravinth and 10 other people recently filed a criminal original petition with Justice N. Sathish Kumar, who recently overturned the proceedings while permitting it. The students were accused of gathering in front of Ambedkar Government Law College with friends and raising chants against the Sri Lankan government, demanding their “Tamil Eelam concerns” and blocking the road without authorization.

The judge decided to grant the petitioners’ request for relief, noting that they had not gathered illegally to conduct any crime. Of course, they had democratically expressed their displeasure with the police’s inaction, thus it is impossible to say that their meeting constituted an unauthorised assembly. In any case, a simple gathering of more than five people would not constitute an offence, unless the behaviour of those people fell within one of the conditions outlined in Section 141, which would then make the gathering an illegal assembly. The judge cancelled the proceedings and stated, “In such a perspective of the matter, this court is of the view that continuing of prosecution is nothing but an abuse of process of law.”

Mayank Tewari

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