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Supreme Court tells TN govt to allow RSS route March

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      06 November, 2023 07:43 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court tells TN govt to allow RSS route March

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday told the Tamil Nadu government to grant permission for RSS to conduct route marches either on November 19 or 26 and apprise the organisation of its decision by November 15.

A bench of Justices Surya Kant and Dipankar Datta declined to allow any discretion to the State government to decide whether one or two rallies should be permitted in each district.

The court also questioned the state government led by senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Mukul Rohatgi for their contention that the High Court was now granting permission for processions.

The bench pointed out in 2022, the High Court passed a similar order, the matter travelled up to the Supreme Court upheld the order.

The court asked if the principle of estoppel would not arise here.

Sibal said the state government is willing to allow but not during the season as there are celebrations by the community and there are bound to be clashes.

"They are asking for permission for three rallies in each district. We have also rejected the request of our coalition partners during this period. We don't want clashes", Sibal submitted.

As the court referred to the undertakings given by the Petitioners, Sibal said, "They don't mean anything. We don't want clashes."

"Your apprehension about the route has been taken care of by the High Court. As far as the dates are concerned, those dates have passed," the bench said.

Senior advocate Madhvi Divan for the opposite side, submitted that the issue has already been decided and that it cannot be reopened.

She then asked for permission for route marches on November 19 or 26.

Sibal allowed it would be considered by the State. He also agreed that they would communicate the permission one week in advance.

The court, however, clarified that the State government can only modify the route while keeping the starting and ending points the same as requested by the Respondents.

The bench also clarified that this order can be placed before the Single Bench of the High Court which is seized of a contempt of court proceedings against the State for non-compliance of its orders.

Earlier, the bench had declined to issue notice, asking it the order can't be challenged before the division bench.

In its plea, the Tamil Nadu government has said that the High Court erred in granting permission to the RSS to conduct route marches in various areas of Tamil Nadu without due consideration of the history of violent incidents, the purposes and objectives of such marches, and the prevailing intelligence reports concerning potential incidents that could impact the law and order situation.

Tamil Nadu further contended in the SLP that the High Court orders were issued in complete disregard for the concurrent religious congregations occurring during the ongoing Navratri festival and Thevar Jayanti celebrations across Tamil Nadu. "Route maps of said marches are passing through narrow roads and also passing through the areas where places of worship of Minority Communities are situated", reads the SLP.

Recently, the Madras High Court issued notice in a contempt petition filed against the State of Tamil Nadu for refusing to grant permission to the RSS

The RSS had moved the Madras High Court when the State did not grant permission, despite their application, to conduct route marches in different parts of the state on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami.

The HC had ordered the State to grant permission for the RSS route marches, saying the lame reasons cited exposed the inadequacy of the State machinery. 



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