The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has moved the Madras High Court challenging the refusal of permission to the organization to conduct procession (Route March) and public meeting on the occasion of Vijayadashami. Last year, similarly, the Tamil Nadu government had refused permission and the matter had gone all the way to the Apex Court and the State was directed by Courts to grant permission (read report).

“It is therefore prayed that this Hon’ble Court may be pleased to issue an interim direction directing the respondents herein to permit the members of Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct the procession (Route March) wearing their Uniform (Dark Olive Brown trousers, White Shirt, Cap, Belt, Black Shoes) lead by a Musical Band from Karneash Thidalto Karneash Thidal (Via K Theatre Road, Bangalore Road, Dharmaraja Kovil Road, GH Road, Salem Road) on 29.10.2023 between 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. and conduct a Public Meeting thereof pending disposal of the writ petition and thus render justice”, prays the petitioner K.R.Ganesan who is the District Joint Secretary of RSS at Krishnagiri District.

“The Petitioner submits that the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) is not a banned organization. In other words, the RSS is a patriotic, nationalistic and cultural organization patronized by the majority people of our nation. The procession is being permitted by the respective state governments all over in India including the Union Territories of Jammu & Kashmir. It is unfortunate that only in our state the respondents are not giving permission to conduct the procession which is done in a peaceful manner”, reads the petition.

The petitioner contended that RSS is permitted to conduct similar activities in other states and Union Territories. “The Act of the respondents is a gross violation of Fundamental Rights in delaying to grant permission under Article 14&19(1) (g) under the Constitution of India.” the petition added.

The petitioner points out that police have the power to regulate processions but not to forbid or ban them; unreasonable restrictions violate fundamental rights. The petitioner relies upon the judgment of the Division Bench of the High Court, granting permission for a similar procession in the past, stating that it is binding under Article 141 of the Constitution of India.

The petition states that the present Prime Minister was a Pracharak of the RSS and that there are a host of leaders, public servants, industrialists and persons from all walks of life who are active members and supporters of the RSS throughout our country and throughout the world.

In April, the Apex Court had dismissed the SLP filed by the state of Tamil Nadu against the order of the High Court asking the State to grant permission for the route marches. We as a country pay some importance to Article 19. "This country was imagined and conceived by those who marched under duress", it was submitted before the Apex Court in support of the RSS.

The State of Tamil Nadu had filed the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court challenging the judgment of the Division Bench of the Madras High Court which had asked the RSS to give three dates to the State Police and had asked the Police to choose one date from the three. The Apex Court had refused to pass any interim order, despite a plea for the same by the state of Tamil Nadu.

The Division Bench of the High Court has set aside the order of the Single Judge of the Court permitting the RSS to conduct route marches across Tamil Nadu only inside compounded premises, with certain additional restrictions. “…the ideology of every organization or political outfit in the State need not be identical or acceptable to another. Just because there are other outfits that have a different ideology, the permission sought cannot be denied”, the Division Bench had said.

Cause Title: K.R.Ganesan v. State Of Tamil Nadu & Ors.