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Madras HC Quashes FIR Against ‘Peaceful’ Anti-CAA-NRC Protesters

Judge notes that protests took place across the country, and one at Shenkottai saw no violence.

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The Madras High Court has quashed an FIR that had been registered against people who conducted a demonstration in Shenkottai, Tamil Nadu against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), noting that “no untoward incident had taken place” at the protest.

The local police registered a case against the protest on 4 January, alleging that the protesters had committed a public nuisance and caused interference with the free flow of general traffic.

While the Madurai bench of the high court acknowledged that there were prima facie materials to justify the registration of the FIR at the time, Justice J Nisha Banu held that there was no need for it to continue, since nothing problematic had happened at the protest itself.

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“The country had witnessed protests all over by different sections of people against the said amendments. Since the protest was peaceful and even the First Information Report does not disclose any act of violence or happening of untoward incident, I am of the view that the continued prosecution is not warranted.”
Madras High Court order

As a result, in the order (dated 5 November), the judge quashed the FIR to “secure the ends of justice”. The judge not only applied this order to the petitioner in this particular case, who was one of the protesters, but all those accused by the police in connection with the case.

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