The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has issued fresh notices to the four major political parties of Uttar Pradesh seeking their response on why there should not be a “complete ban forever” on caste-based rallies in the state and in case of violation, why the election commission should not take action against them.
The court issued fresh notices after no action was taken on its interim order, passed nine years ago.
A bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Jaspreet Singh passed the order on an old PIL filed by lawyer Motilal Yadav, who had sought a ban on caste-based rallies in Uttar Pradesh.
In its order, the bench has also issued notice to the Chief Election Commissioner to respond on the issue, fixing December 15 as the next date of hearing.
Hearing the same PIL on July 11, 2013, the bench had put an interim ban on organising caste-based rallies in the state.
However, even after nine years, neither any of the four parties nor the CEC’s office submitted their response to the High Court notices issued to them.
Expressing concern over this, the bench has issued fresh notices enabling the political parties and the CEC to file their response by December 15.
In its 2013 order, a bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Mahendra Dayal had 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.”
The bench then had also said: “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 fabrics and cohesiveness. It has rather resulted in causing social fissions.”
The petitioner had submitted that the caste minorities, “because of such anti-democratic activities of political parties designed in order to woo the votes of majority groups”, have been reduced to the 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 a disadvantageous position in the number game of vote politics,” the petitioner had added.