RSS Route March: SC Reserves Order On TN Govt Plea Against HC Order

RSS route march

The Supreme Court on Monday reserved its order on Tamil Nadu Government’s appeal against the Madras High Court order directing state police to allow Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) route marches in the state.

After hearing both parties’ submissions, a bench of justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal reserved the order. The bench stated that it will take the plea into consideration.

Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared on behalf of the Tamil Nadu government, emphasized the importance of law and order and stated that some balance should be maintained. He stated that neither everything can be prohibited nor everything can be permitted.

In its petition, the State government stated that there is no absolute right to hold a procession, which is subject to various restrictions.

“How can there be the direction that marches can be held wherever desired?” their lawyer asked.

Appearing on behalf of the RSS, senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, stated that the state is prohibiting the route marches because someone might come and attack.

He went on to say that fundamental rights cannot be restricted in this way because of someone else’s deception.

“This has earlier passed off peacefully, no complaints were there,” the lawyer remarked.

Senior Advocate Maneka Guruswamy, who also represents the RSS, questioned the status report filed by the Tamil Nadu government in the matter, saying that public order and reasonable restrictions cannot be reduced to this type of status report. She informed the court of the status report, which stated that RSS processions could only take place in an enclosed area.

Previously, the Tamil Nadu government told the Supreme Court that while they are not completely opposed to the RSS route march, they cannot allow it in sensitive areas.

The bench was hearing the Tamil Nadu government’s appeal against a Madras High Court order allowing the RSS to march through the state.

On February 10, the Madras High Court ordered Tamil Nadu police to allow the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to hold route marches on public roads in various districts across the state. The Tamil Nadu government recently challenged two Madras High Court orders dated 22.9.2022 and 2.11.2022.

Previously, the Tamil Nadu government stated that they will hold talks with the RSS about proposed march routes because they are not completely opposed to them. The state government informed the court that it had denied holding route marches in sensitive areas that had experienced PFI incidents and bordered areas with disturbances. According to the lawyer, the government had some intelligence reports.

The State counsel stressed that they are not completely opposed to the procession, but they are opposed to the way it is proposed to be done.

The RSS lawyer responded that the ground mentioned by the state government is of the Popular Front of India (PFI), which was banned by the Central Government, and it is a threat to the organization.

“They cannot control terrorist organizations, which is why they want to ban the route march,” the lawyer explained.

The Tamil Nadu government approached the apex court against the Madras High Court’s order allowing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to march in Tamil Nadu on rescheduled dates.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte