Kerala HC Rejects Plea Claiming Arrest, Detention for Waving Black Flags Is Illegal

The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea seeking a declaration that arrest and detention for waving black flags in protest is ‘illegal’ and ‘unconstitutional.’

The petition, which also sought compensation for those booked for waving black flags at Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in protest last year, was rejected by a bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Murali Purushothaman.

The detailed order giving reasons for dismissing the plea is not yet available, advocate Rajesh Vijayan, who appeared for the petitioner, said.

The matter assumes significance as many Youth Congress workers were arrested or put in preventive detention in the last few days for waving black flags at the Kerala CM, or allegedly planning to do so, while he was in Kozhikode and other districts of the state.

The plea, by one Sam Joseph, had also sought an inquiry into the alleged professional misconduct by the officers concerned who had on June 11 last year taken into preventive custody two transgenders who had reached the venue of an event near Kaloor metro station here wearing a black dress under the suspicion that they came there to protest.

The plea had also prayed for directions to the police to provide, to the petitioner, the documents related to the alleged illegal detention of the transgenders.

The transgenders had claimed they were on their way to the metro station but the police took them into custody as they were wearing a black dress and the CM was attending a programme nearby.

The police on the other hand had contended that the duo were BJP workers, who had arrived there to protest.

The Congress and the BJP had staged widespread protests and waved black flags at Vijayan at various places last year after the disclosures made by Swapna Suresh, an accused in the gold-smuggling through diplomatic bags case.

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