SC agrees to hear TN plea against MHC order permitting RSS route march

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said it will hear the plea on March 3.
Supreme Court
Supreme Court ANI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday agreed to hear on Friday the Tamil Nadu government's appeal against the Madras High Court order permitting the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to hold a route march in the state.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said it will hear the plea on March 3.

Tamil Nadu government mentioned the urgent listing of its appeal against the Madras High Court order permitting the RSS to take out a route march in Tamil Nadu on rescheduled dates. Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi apprised the court that the route march is on March 5.

The court said it will take up the matter for hearing on Friday.

On February 10, the Madras High Court directed Tamil Nadu police to grant permission to the Sangh to take out route marches in various districts of the state.

On September 30, 2022, the Madras HC, during the hearing on a contempt of court petition, directed the Tamil Nadu police to grant permission to the RSS to organise the rally on November 6, instead of October 2.

The petition was filed by RSS' Tiruvallur joint secretary R Karthikeyan against the police for denying permission for the route march on October 2, 2022. In November 2022, RSS workers took out their annual rallies in Cuddalore, Kallakurichi and Perambalur districts in Tamil Nadu after the Sangh secured permission for the same from the Madras High Court. Last year, Tamil Nadu Police had denied permission for RSS rallies in many places, in the wake of which the Sangh office bearers had moved a contempt of court petition in the Madras High Court.

The court had made it clear that authorities would face contempt action if they violate the order.

"The court had passed orders only after taking all circumstances into consideration. It said no one should be allowed to undermine a judicial order and the denial of permission despite the court orders seems to be a mockery (of justice)," RSS senior counsel Prabhakaran had argued last year.

Council Elango, arguing for the Tamil Nadu police, had said the central intelligence agencies, themselves, had given inputs to the state on possible disturbance to law and order due to the action taken against the Popular Front of India (PFI).

"Chennai High Court has given permission for the RSS March and (has) ordered the Tamil Nadu government to consider giving permission for the RSS March. Though it is said that, due to law and order issues the Government is denying permission for RSS March," read an official release from Tamil Nadu Government issued last year.

"The Union Government has banned PFI and condemning this various Muslim organization are protesting across Tamil Nadu. Recently, various events in Tamil Nadu are triggering religious feelings and on the same day of the planned RSS March. Few political parties have asked permission for human harmony chain demonstrations against the RSS march. Police are working day and night and patrolling to ensure law and order in the state. So it is decided not to give permission for the RSS march and other organised Human Harmony chains," the release stated further.

Following this order, various DMK allies such as the VCK, MDMK and the Left requested the government not to give permission for the RSS march.

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