When the police arrested five people during the protests of 2013, the city of Delhi took a very different approach.
The protesters were in the process of shutting down the capital’s central bus station, and they wanted to hold their event there.
But the city’s police chief ordered that the event be banned, arguing that it was illegal and threatening to arrest people if they attempted to attend.
In his statement to the court, Delhi Police Sub-Inspector (Public Order) Ajay Kumar said: “We will shut the bus station down.
You will have to go to the city police station.”
In the court documents, Kumar also threatened to arrest any journalist who tried to cover the event, citing his role in the protests.
“If any journalist wants to cover this event, he/she will be arrested.
If not, you will be charged with obstructing the administration of justice and the like,” Kumar wrote.
The court document further warned: “If you fail to obey the order of the court and take action against the organisers, you would be booked under Section 324 of the Indian Penal Code.”
The court also told Kumar that if he attempted to take the police to court, he would be arrested as well.
“You have to obey court order,” the court said.
Ajay Kumar’s threat to jail journalists, however, did not work.
The court rejected his claim that the police had the right to shut down the bus and order journalists to disperse.
A court-appointed lawyer argued that Kumar had no legal right to threaten journalists, as he was not the person responsible for enforcing the ban.
“I would be happy to see the court uphold the court’s order and uphold the right of the press to freedom of expression,” lawyer Ashok Kumar told Al Jazeera.
He said the court would also consider whether Kumar was legally justified in arresting the journalists who took part in the protest, and whether his threat to imprison journalists was justified.
“The court will have a look at that,” Kumar said.
“I hope the court will also find the police’s threats to arrest journalists to be justified.”
While Kumar’s case has been in the courts for years, it is only now that the Delhi High Court has made a ruling on the case.
In April, the court ruled that Kumar’s order was justified and that the ban on the event was unlawful.
The police chief had said the event would be “illegal” and that any journalist attempting to attend it would be banned.
The Delhi High Courts ruled in May that the government was in breach of the High Court’s orders when it banned the event.
“In my view, it was the police who banned the events that they were facing, as they did not have any legal grounds to shut it down,” lawyer Raman Choudhary told Aljazeera.
In a statement to Al Jazeera, Choudhy said that the high court ruling meant that the protests had to end, and that they had been “illegal and in contravention of the law”.
“The police and the government are the ones in violation of the Supreme Court order.
They have to be held accountable.
The law says that the law cannot be defied,” he said.
Choudhy added that Kumar should have been arrested in the first place, as his arrest would have constituted a breach of his rights under Article 19 of the constitution.
The High Court said that Kumar was the “law enforcement officer” responsible for the ban, which meant that he had “directly” committed a breach.
“He has also been the subject of a police investigation by the police.
The investigation was conducted after the police did not register a case against him for violating the ban,” the High Courts ruling said.
The ruling also said that if Kumar did not comply with the ban order, the police would resort to the police station for a “chargeable offence” of “criminal intimidation” if he did not “reformulate his action”.
Al Jazeera’s Rula Amin contributed to this report.