New Delhi, Aug 21 (IANS) The Supreme Court Thursday refused to stop Telugu film star Chiranjeevi from holding a rally Sunday at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh to formally launch his political party.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice B.N. Agrawal turned down a plea by a civil society group, Intellectual Forum, which had sought directions to the Andhra Pradesh government to withdraw its permission to the rally.
The bench, which also included Justice H.S. Bedi and Justice G.S Singhvi, rejected the arguments by counsel L. Negeshwar Rao for the Intellectual Forum that the rally at the Avilala tank would lead to massive destruction of vegetation in the area.
Rao contended that Chiranjeevi's rally is expected to be attended by over one million people and the crowd would end up trampling the vegetation in the area.
He added that the preparation for the rally had already led to a significant destruction of vegetation and greenery in the area.
Rao pointed out to the bench that the apex court in 1997 had banned any construction in the 176 acres area around the Avilala tank and had ordered preservation of the tank when the state government wanted to develop the area around the tank.
He said the state government had given permission to the film star to hold the rally despite the apex court ban.
At this, the bench remarked that the court had banned construction to check encroachment and illegal construction.
Rao also contended that the water table in the area had already gone down and the loss of vegetation in the area would further deplete it.
But the bench refused to buy his argument.
Chiranjeevi, a popular film star, is launching a party that is widely expected to change political equations in the state ahead of the assembly and Lok Sabha elections.