RSS-Tamil Nadu Government Row Over Permission Of Rally; HC Postpones The Scheduled Date  

RSS filed a contempt petition against senior state officials saying that denying permission of their scheduled route-march on Gandhi Jayanti, the government has violated the earlier court order.

RSS Shakha

Amidst the controversy over the decision of the Tamil Nadu Government to not let RSS hold a march on October 2, the Madras High Court on Friday said that the organization can go on with its 'route marches' and public meetings in 51 places across Tamil Nadu on November 6, instead of the earlier proposed day.

Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan while entertaining a contempt application from the RSS directed the state government and the police to give the permission and update the court by October 31.

If no decision is taken or permission is not given, the court will take up the contempt application and proceed to pass orders, the Judge warned.

"Your concern is with regard to October 2, which happens to be Gandhi Jayanthi day. In that case, the event can be allowed to take place on November 6," the court said adding that the conditions stipulated in its September 22 order for taking out the rallies and holding public meetings will hold good for the November 6 event as well.

The court was hearing a contempt plea by the RSS against TN Home Secretary Phanindra Reddy and state police chief C Sylendra Babu, among others, over the issue of granting permission to the saffron organisation for holding the route marches on October 2.

The RSS moved the plea on Thursday after the government refused permission for its October 2 state-wide events citing possible law and order issues.

Tamil Nadu Government’s Reasons for Denying the Permission

Citing the recent violence in the midst of arrests of Popular Front of India (PFI) leaders by National Investigative Agency and subsequent ban of the organization, State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah told the judge that about 52,000 police personnel were on the roads after September 22 to protect the life and liberty of the citizens.

Senior advocate NR Elango, while representing the state added that the government had received intelligence inputs from the Centre in regard to the possible law and order problems connected to the PFI ban, NIA raids and petrol bomb attacks on certain BJP and Hindu outfit members.

They also said that the lives of the members of the general public is foremost important and the State cannot take any risk on their safety.

Ahead of suggesting the new date for the march, the judge also noted that he is privy to the developments what took place in the context of PFI banning and other arrests.

RSS grounds for seeking the Permission

Representing the RSS, senior counsels G Rajagopalan and B Rabu Manohar referred to the Supreme Court rulings telling the HC that law and order problem can never be a reason to deny permission. The SC had made it clear it was for the authorities to maintain law and order.

In their petition it mentioned that by the common order passed on September 22 on a batch of writ petitions, Justice Ilanthiraiyan had directed the three authorities to grant permission, on or before September 28, to carry out the processions and to hold public meetings on October 2 at places mentioned in the representations based on the conditions laid down by the judge. However, in gross violation of this order, the authorities passed the rejection order on September 28.

A senior RSS leader yesterday told PTI, “Our’s is a peaceful march and the Madras High Court has already granted permission. We will approach the issue legally.”

Government order preventing the Rally

Earlier on Thursday, Tamil Nadu government denied the permission to RSS to hold route march on Gandhi Jayanti and also declined the request of counter agitation made by Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK).

Tamil Nadu Government cited the law-and-order situation and said that in the volatile political condition it will not be prudent to have such marches.

The presumption of serious disruptions was not baseless as earlier the senior RSS functionary Indresh Kumar fumed at those who were opposing the PFI ban. Lashing out at the opposition leaders who called for the banning of RSS as well, Kumar said, “The imposition of ban on the PFI was the biggest need of the hour. The government has taken a very important step to protect the country, democracy and humanity. No words are enough to praise the government for this decision.” He also termed the opposition leaders as ‘mentally challenged’ who called for the RSS ban.

After the ban of PFI, the most vocal critic appeared in Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav who said, “They keep raising the bogey of PFI. It is the RSS, which is all about Hindu extremism (‘kattarpanth’), that deserves to be banned first.”

In this context, as the political observers say, rally of RSS in a non-BJP state has the potential to evoke disturbances.

(With PTI Inputs)