The Madras High Court has issued notice in a contempt petition filed against the State of Tamil Nadu for refusing to grant permission to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct route marches, in all the locations where they had requested for permission, despite a specific order from the High Court directing the State Government to grant the requested permission.

The Single Judge Bench of Justice G. Jayachandran issued the statutory notice for contempt of court and ordered that the matter be posted after four weeks.

Background: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh 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.

It was Justice Jayachandran's Bench that, on October 16, 2023, had ordered the State to grant permission for the RSS route marches. In its judgment, the Court had found the reasons cited by the Advocate General on behalf of the state to refuse permission as "lame." The Court had stated that these lame reasons for denying permission exposed the inadequacy of the State machinery.

Referring to the objection of the State that there are Mosques and Churches in the procession route, the Court had held that the orders of rejection passed by the State were not in tune with secular or democratic ways of governance. "By citing the existence of the structures, place of worship of other religion or office of some organizations, which do not share the same ideology of RSS, the request of RSS to conduct procession and public meeting is rejected. This order is contrary to the principle of Secularism which is the foundation of our Constitution of India", stated the order.

However, as alleged in the Contempt Petition, the State, despite the High Court's order, refused to grant the permission. The Petitioner, aggrieved by this, sought action for contempt of court against the State of Tamil Nadu for willfully disobeying and violating the Court's order.

In the Contempt Petition filed by S. Raja Desingu through Advocate B. Rabu Manohar, it is submitted that despite approaching the Respondent's office and submitting a copy of the Court's judgment, permission to conduct the route marches was not granted. "It is the duty of the respondents to comply with the Directions issued in the judgement of the Hon’ble High Court dated 1 6.1 0.2023 and in spite of the specific directions issued by the Hon’ble High Court to grant permission at least three days prior to the date of the route march, the respondents have not complied or obeyed the judgement passed by the Hon’ble Court dated 1 6.1 0.2023", reads the Contempt Petition.

The petition also states that the State of Tamil Nadu has repeatedly disobeyed the judgments of the Division bench of the High Court and the Apex Court intentionally, thereby committing Contempt of Court.

In addition to seeking action under contempt of court, the Petitioner has also requested the Court to direct the respondents to permit the petitioner to hold the procession and conduct a public meeting in accordance with the order of the High Court dated October 16, 2023.

The Court will now consider the matter after four weeks.

Cause Title: S. Raja Desingu v. P. Amutha I.A.S & Ors. [CONT P (F) 139790/2023]