A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna today, February 11, 2019 dismissed a petition filed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) challenging a notification issued by the West Bengal government in 2013 thereby use of loudspeakers in residential areas and near educational institutions from three days before the secondary and higher secondary examinations till they last has been prohibited.
Appearing for the BJP, senior lawyer Mukul Rohtagi submitted before the Court that the notification is violative of the political parties right to garner public support and infringement on their right to free speech. According to petitioner-BJP such a notification is issued indirectly with the intent so that BJP doesn’t hold any rally/meeting before the upcoming general elections in May 2019.
However, the plea did not find favour from the bench headed by the CJI who proceeded to dismiss the same. However, at this juncture, senior counsel appearing for BJP Mukul Rohtagi requested the court to grant liberty to approach the High Court. At this, CJI replied “We are not granting any liberty, withdraw the petition, if you want to”. BJP chose to withdraw the petition. The Petition was then, accordingly, dismissed as withdrawn.