SC agrees to hear on March 3 TN govt’s plea against permission for RSS route march

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to examine on March 3, Tamil Nadu government’s plea challenging the Madras High Court order, which allowed Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct a route march across the state.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, representing the Tamil Nadu government, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justice P.S. Narasimha.
Rohatgi submitted that the state government wants to restrict the march and is not inclined to allow it in six districts affected by activities of banned outfit PFI and bomb blasts.

He further submitted that the single judge agreed with the state’s contentions, however the division bench of the high court permitted it while dealing with a contempt petition.

After hearing Rohatgi’s submissions, the top court agreed to hear the state government’s plea on March 3. The state government’s plea contended that its decision against the march was within reasonable restrictions on the fundamental rights under Article 19(2) of the Constitution to maintain public order.

The high court, in its order last month, had said: “We are of the view that the state authorities must act in a manner to uphold the fundamental right to freedom of speech, expression, and assembly as regarded one of the most sacrosanct and inviolable rights envisaged in our Constitution”.

The state government pointed at the apprehension for disturbance of public peace against the backdrop of the ban on the Popular Front of India in September, last year.

It further contended that there have been instances of throwing of petrol bombs and clashes, when RSS had conducted similar events in other states.

The high court had directed the RSS to file fresh applications for carrying out the route march on three different dates and also directed the police to permit the RSS to take out route marches on any of such dates in various districts across the state on public roads.

The high court had permitted the RSS members to wear their uniform and play its musical band during the marches throughout the state.



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