RSS Route March: Tamil Nadu Cites Alleged Fake Videos About Attack Against Migrants, SC Questions Its Relevance
The Supreme Court today adjourned to March 27, the appeal filed by the State of Tamil Nadu against the Order of the Division Bench of Madras High Court directing the State Police to grant permission to RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) for conducting route marches, without the conditions imposed by the Single Judge of the Court.
The Court was not inclined to accept the argument of the State of Tamil Nadu that the recent issue relating to alleged fake videos about attacks on north Indian migrant workers in the state is a relevant development that concerns the present case. Tamil Nadu police had registered FIRs against Lawyer and Uttar Pradesh BJP spokesperson Prashant Kumar Umrao on the issue, who was granted transit anticipatory bail by the Delhi High Court.
Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi, who appeared for the State of Tamil Nadu, informed the Court the state has filed a new SLP challenging the Single Judge's order in the Writ Petition and that the new SLP has not been listed today. The present SLP is filed challenging the order of the Division Bench setting aside the order of the Single Judge passed in contempt petitions filed by the petitioners before the High Court. The Single Bench had modified its order in contempt, even though the review petition filed against the original order was dismissed.
Advocate Nachiketa Joshi appearing for the respondents who are petitioners before the High Court opposed the submission pointing out that on the last occasion, the matter was adjourned at the request of the State, which had said that it wants to discuss the matter with the petitioners and suggest alternate routes. He submitted that the state is being unfair to the Court.
Rohatgi replied saying that the state wanted to file the SLP first and then give the proposal for alternate routes.
Rohtagi also submitted that subsequently there were some disturbances in the state due to some fake videos of attacks against north Indian migrant workers.
However, the Bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal was not inclined to accept that submission and said that the same was ten days ago and is no longer an issue. The Bench then agreed to adjourn the matter to March 27.
On March 3, the Court refused to pass any interim order, despite a plea for the same by the state of Tamil Nadu and adjourned the matter today, after the State submitted that it will try to work out some solution.
"Lordship may call out on 17. We will work out something. As I said, I am not totally against it", Rohatgi had submitted.
The State of Tamil Nadu filed the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court on February 21, 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 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.
Earlier, contempt petitions had been filed alleging non-compliance of the Single Judge's order.
The Single Judge had originally granted permission to the RSS to conduct route marches with certain conditions. The Court had directed that the procession and public meetings should be conducted in compounded premises such as a ground or stadium. The Court had also directed that during the program, nobody shall either sing songs or speak ill on any individuals, any caste, religion, etc.
Cause Title- K. Phanindra Reddy, I.A.S & Ors. v. G. Subramanian