The Karnataka High Court has said that its August 1 order that restricts “protests, marches, and dharnas” in Bengaluru only to the city’s Freedom Park does not apply to celebratory marches, Live Law reported on Thursday.
The Bengaluru Police on November 21 had cited the High Court order while denying permission to the Namma Pride March for the LGBTQIA+ community, which took place on Sunday, The Times of India reported. The event was nonetheless attended by more than 2,000 participants.
An application against the ban was filed by the Coalition For Sex Workers and Sexuality Minority Rights, which holds the Pride March in Bengaluru, Live Law reported.
Senior advocate Aditya Sondhi, appearing for the applicant, said that the organisers of the pride march were not a party to the suo motu public interest litigation in which the court stated that protests, marches and dharnas could only take place at Freedom Park.
“For the last 14 years this walk has been taking place peacefully without any law and order issues,” he said. “The idea is for the community to take a step away from the daily experience of ostracism and rejection and show the world that there is nothing wrong with being LGBTQIA+. In fact, it is an identity which can and should be asserted with pride.”
He added that pride marches allow the public to interact with the members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
“To be confined to one space without being allowed to be seen by the public and to build public awareness about the community, defeats the essential purpose of the pride programme itself,” he said.
After hearing the arguments, Justices Alok Aradhe and S Vishwajit said that the words “protests, marches and dharnas” in its order from August will be substituted with “protests, protest marches and dharnas”.