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RSS moves Madras HC challenging order restricting marches in public places

The application submitted by the RSS also sought to punish state government officials and the police personnel for not complying with the court’s earlier order directing them to grant permission for the planned route march on October 2.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) on Wednesday, November 23, moved the Madras High Court with an application challenging the recent order of a single judge, which permitted its route march and public meetings in auditoriums and open grounds alone, as it “defeats the very definition of a route march”. The letter patent appeal (LPA) from G Subramaniam, also sought to punish the state government officials and the police personnel for not complying with the court’s earlier order directing them to grant permission to the RSS to take out the march on October 2. This included the State Home Secretary, Director General of Police (DGP), Greater Chennai Police Commissioner and the inspector attached to Korattur police station here.

Justice GK Ilanthiraiyan on November 4, among other things, had stipulated that the march and meetings should be conducted in compounded premises such as grounds or stadiums. The applicant contended that Justice Ilanthiraiyan’s modification to the original order (that permitted the march in open grounds) is “per se illegal and without jurisdiction” conferred under the Contempt of Courts Act.  

The application filed in the High Court said, “The nature of modification of the order passed on the writ petition by exercising the non-existent power in contempt jurisdiction defeats the very definition of route march which was guaranteed and granted by a clear cut direction. The judge had completely lost sight of the fact that demonstrations and agitations by other political parties in public places during the very same period were allowed.” It added that Justice Ilanthiraiyan had failed to see that the route march was carried out as planned in several places, even in Jammu and Kashmir but was prevented only in Tamil Nadu. 

RSS advocate B Rabu Manohar told PTI that over 40 similar appeals will be filed in the coming days.

The Madras High Court gave permission for the RSS route march to take place on October 2 after imposing several conditions including that no members of the organisation must speak or sing ill of any caste, religion or individual. However, the Tamil Nadu police, on September 28, denied permission to the organisation, citing law and order issues as the Popular Front of India (PFI) was banned and the environment was not conducive to hold these marches. Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) was planning on holding a communal harmony rally on the same day but permission was denied to them as well

Source: The News Minute