The Karnataka High Court declined to halt political party road shows, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi's two road shows scheduled for May 6 and 7 in Bengaluru as part of the campaign for the State Legislative Assembly elections.

On May 5, a vacation bench consisting of Justice Krishna S. Dixit and Justice Vijaykumar A. Patil issued the order after hearing an urgent PIL petition filed by Bengaluru-based advocate Amrutesh N.P seeking a ban on road shows and rallies by any political party across Karnataka, and specifically Bengaluru city, as part of their election campaigning.

karnataka high court

The petitioner specifically asked the court to stop the authorities from issuing permits for the two road shows arranged by the BJP on May 6 and 7. The petitioner claimed that the roadshow will interrupt citizens' daily lives in cities such as Bengaluru and other major cities throughout the state.

"Elections in India are treated as festive celebrations," the court observed. There are records indicating that such demonstrations were staged during the electoral process, beginning with the first general elections in 1952... Political rallies include elements of disseminating knowledge and information about the election process to the general population."

PM Modi's final push to K'taka campaign, will hold mega roadshows
PM Modi's final push to K'taka campaign, will hold mega roadshowsIANS

The bench stated, quoting the Supreme Court's views in the Lily Thomas vs Union of India case, that there is a need for transmission of knowledge to the general people because democracy demands the electorate to make informed choices, which these rallies serve.

The court asked the authorities to ensure that the interests of the public at large are protected after senior officers appraised the court of measures that would be taken while granting permission for such large road shows, stating that it is for the Election Commission of India, the State Government, and the police machinery to decide on the grant of permission for such rallies or road shows.