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Organisers postpone Popular Rally in Kerala, after high court receives petition seeking ban      
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Organisers postpone Popular Rally in Kerala, after high court receives petition seeking ban     

Petitioner had alleged a threat to public safety, citing the instance of the mishap at the Jodhpur rally     

By Sudipto Chaudhury

Published on :

The organisers of the Popular Rally have released a statement saying that they have decided to postpone the rally indefinitely after the High court in Cohin, Kerala received a petition from Vivek Mathew Varkey of Kottayam, asking for a ban on the Popular Rally, which was to be held in Kottayam, Kerala, between October 30 and November 3. The petitioner had also sought a directive to the Kottayam District Transport Commissioner, Collector and Police Chief to cancel all requisite permissions for the event.

On the decision of indefinitely postponing the rally, G B Girijashankar Joshy, the COC (Clerk of of the Course) for the Popular Rally, has said that since legal matters take their own time to be settled and the dates of the rally are very close, hence the unforeseeable circumstances (with respect to the petition) has prompted the decision of the rally being postponed.

In his petition filed on Thursday, Vivek Mathew Varkey had alleged that organising a race on public roads should not be allowed as it allegedly violates the provisions under the Kerala Public Ways (Restriction of Assemblies and Procession) Act, 2011, as well as the Motor Vehicles Act. Additionally, he has alleged that the race also obstructs traffic on public roads.

The petitioner had also cited the accident that caused the death of three riders on a motorbike colliding with Gaurav Gill’s car during the Jodhpur Rally as an example to drive home the so-called dangers involved. Lastly, he had alleged that the driver (Gaurav Gill) “has gone underground since then and is yet to surrender” [sic].

However, to separate fact from fiction, rallies such as the Popular Rally, or the Maxperience Rally in Jodhpur (during which the accident occurred) are not spontaneous events that are held simply by “closing off a public road” but involve months of preparation and thorough reconnaissance, copious amounts of paperwork and permissions from the local authorities and also have marshalls reporting from every sector that the rally vehicles are slated to pass through.

Additionally, the allegations that Gaurav Gill ‘has gone underground’ are also untrue, as Gill’s lawyer has been in constant touch with the authorities, with Gill himself appearing in front of the Court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate in Siwana, Jodhpur and securing bail.