The Supreme Court adjourned 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 route marches, without the conditions imposed by the Single Judge of the Court.

The Court refused to pass any interim order, despite a plea for the same by the state of Tamil Nadu.

A Bench comprising Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal adjourned the matter to March 17 after the State submitted that it will try to work out some solution.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohtagi, who appeared for the State of Tamil Nadu, submitted, "We are not totally opposed to the request of the other side that it wants to have route marches and public meetings across the state. It can't be done absolutely the way you wanted".

We have considered intelligence inputs. We said don't do it in some areas, like Coimbatore, where there has been a bomb blast. We said, do it in some places. Now the Division Bench said- have it where ever they want, Rohatgi submitted.

Rohtagi also said that the High Court had found that what the state government said is correct. We had submitted material in a sealed cover. Recently, PFI was banned, said Rohatgi reading from the order in the contempt petition.

"In contempt, can the original order be modified?", the Bench asked. Rohatgi said that some subsequent developments were considered.

"If the original order of September 22 was not modified in the review petition, can it be modified in the contempt petition?", Justice Ramasubramanian asked.

"I say yes, in a matter relating to tranquillity of the state. It can't be that the Court will shut its eyes. The Court can always look at it", Rohtagi replied.

"Normally, there are two languages, one is a language of democracy and the other is a language of power. Which language you speak depends on where you are", Justice Ramasubramanian said, adding that it applies to both sides.

You should have filed an appeal against the original order, the Bench said.

Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for the petitioners before the High Court submitted, "please look at how one-sided this is". He cited examples of other organisations that have been granted permission without conditions.

"Lordship may call out on 17. We will work out something. As I said, I am not totally against it", Rohatgi submitted.

Jethmalani also submitted that the ground of PFI's ban has been used only against the RSS and not some other organisations that have been given permission. He said that it is an abdication of the duty of the state to protect, to deny permission on the ground that the PFI may cause violence.

Senior Advocate Menaka Guruswamy also appeared for some of the petitioners before the High Court.

On Wednesday, a Bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha directed listing the matter on Friday, when it was mentioned for urgent hearing.

“Somewhere we can allow you to have in compounds, stadiums and not on every street as you desire. Every street in Tamil Nadu, we can’t do that,” said Senior Advocate Rohtagi during mentioning.

The State of Tamil Nadu had filed the Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court on February 21, challenging the direction of the Division Bench of the High Court of Madras 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 granted permission to the RSS to conduct route marches in 44 places in Tamil Nadu on November 6, 2022 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