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Advocate files PIL challenging anti-Baba Ramdev police action

Following the political drama surrounding the police lathi charge and alleged atrocities against yoga-guru and social activist Baba Ramdev's indefinite fast against corruption, advocate Ajay Agrawal has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court alleging violation of various fundamental rights.

In his PIL Agarwal alleged that the police committed atrocities against the protestors gathered in support of Baba Ramdev at Delhi's Ramlila ground by indiscriminately lathi charging women, children and elderly persons in the early hours of Sunday, reported The Hindu.

The petition alleged that the police action on the sleeping protestors was a violation of various fundamental rights, including the right to peaceful assembly guaranteed under Article 19(1)(b) of the Constitution.

The petition has also asked the court to order UPA ministers to refrain from making any comments justifying “barbaric” police action. The petition has also prayed that the government should present all records pertaining to the negotiations and the subsequent order of lathi charge against the yoga-guru before the court.

The petitioner alleged that “most of the ministers of the government themselves have secret accounts in Swiss banks” and added that the government was not serious in tackling the issue of corruption and black money, according to the Economic Times. The petition is scheduled to come up for hearing before the Supreme Court today.

Yoga-guru Ramdev went ahead with his indefinite fast against corruption and black money on June 4 after negotiations with the government failed amid reported misunderstanding among both sides.

This move later resulted in a political war between the ruling Congress and the opposition parties after which the police decided to disperse the protestors gathered at Delhi's Ramlila grounds and impose orders under Section 144 of the CrPc (prohibitory orders) banning any demonstrations at Ramlila grounds and preventing Ramdev from entering Delhi for the next 15 days.

The Supreme Court has now taken suo moto cognisance of the complaint, reported The Times of India, adding that: “the court declined to entertain a petition filed by advocate Ajay Aggarwal on the issue. The bench expressed its displeasure that before the matter came up for hearing before it, the entire contents of the petition were leaked to the media”.

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