RSS Route Marches| Members Of RSS Were Victims, Not Perpetrators In Law And Order Problems Cited By Tamil Nadu: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has found that the law and order problems cited by the Tamil Nadu government to object to route marches of the RSS in the state were cases in which members of the RSS were the victims and not perpetrators.
While upholding the judgment of the Division Bench of the Madras High Court, the Bench of Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal also held that the single judge of the Madras High Court could not have modified his original order while considering contempt petitions against the order.
Senior Advocates Mukul Rohatgi and V. Krishnamurthy along with AOR Joseph Aristotle S. appeared for the state of Tamil Nadu while Senior Advocates Guru Krishna Kumar, Mahesh Jethmalani and Menaka Guruswamy along with AORs Nachiketa Joshi and Siddhartha Sinha appeared for the Respondents.
"After having disposed of the batch of main writ petitions by a final order dated 22.09.2022 in a particular manner and after having dismissed the batch of review applications on 02.11.2022, the learned Judge could not have modified his original order dated 22.09.2022 in a batch of contempt petitions on 04.11.2022", the Court held.
The single judge of the High Court had imposed additional restrictions as demanded by the State, that were not there in the original order, while adjudicating contempt petitions filed by the respondents against the State.
"..the learned Judge travelled beyond the scope of a contempt petition and this is why the said order warranted interference by the Division Bench", the Apex Court held.
The Court held that the single judge had not only interpreted the relevant provisions of the law correctly, but also imposed necessary conditions in its original order. "This is why the learned Judge could not review his own order", the Bench held.
The Bench also noted that the single Judge followed several similar orders passed by the other Judges of the same High Court including a judgment authored by Justice V. Ramasubramanian while at the Madras High Court.
During the hearing, a 2014 judgment of the Madras High Court in the matter of Durai Sankar vs The Director General Of Police, authored by Justice V. Ramasubramanian was cited by the Respondents.
The Court was not impressed by the chart furnished by the State regarding law and order problems that cropped up in certain places that led to several cases being registered, after the PFI was banned.
"But the Chart provided by the State Government shows that the members of the respondent organization were the victims in many of those cases and that they were not the perpetrators. Therefore, it is not possible for us to find fault with the order passed by the learned Judge either in the main writ petitions or in the review applications", the Apex Court held.