A police request to ban planned protest marches against increased electricity tariffs has been rejected by courts.
The OICs of Ja Ela, Kandana, Wattala and Mahabage made separate submissions to Welisara magistrate Thusitha Dhammika Uduwawidana yesterday (31) in this regard.
The magistrate said the court was bound to safeguard the freedom of assembly and freedom of expression as enshrined in the constitution.
If the protestors violated peace, there are adequate legal provisions for the police to arrest and produce them before courts, he said.
In their submissions, police said a group was planning to start a protest march from Divulapitiya town at 8.00 am today and gather in front of the Power Ministry.
They claimed the protestors’ plan to carry torches could result in more than 20 petrol sheds on the way catching fire.
Also, Colombo-Negombo and other main roads could get blocked, thereby disrupting public life and harm the economy, police added.