Nearly four months into the ongoing media-lawyer spat in Kerala, Ernakulam district collector Mohammed Y Safirulla K on Friday imposed prohibitory orders on the Kerala High Court premises and its adjoining areas.
The collector exercised his power as District Magistrate to impose the order that comes in the wake of an interim order passed by the Kerala HC dated 27 July 2016, as well as on the basis of the Additional Advocate Generalâ€™s letter dated 10 November 2016.
It is under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure that prohibitory orders have been imposed for a period of sixty days within a radius of two kilometres, with effect from 17 November 2016.
Kochi Police Commissioner MP Dinesh and Kanayannur Tahsildar who is also the Executive Magistrate have been made responsible for its implementation.
Despite the CPI(M)-led LDF government condemnation of the continued attacks on journalists and its repeated assurances of the freedom of the press, tensions between the two groups show no signs of respite on ground.
In the order dated 17 November 2016, the district collector states that there shall be no assembly or demonstration or collective expression of opinion on the Court premises, and also on the adjoining roads and streets.
Recalling the serious law and order problem in the area following a spate of media-lawyer clashes, he said that prevention and speedy remedy were desirable to preserve public peace and tranquility.
"Any dispute or demonstration may create further law and order issues that are likely to prevent, obstruct, annoy, disturb or injure the smooth functioning of the Honourable High Court of Kerala," read the press statement issued in this regard.