SC declines urgent hearing on BJP's plea for Bengal Rath Yatra

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SC declines urgent hearing on BJP's plea for Bengal Rath Yatra
SC declines urgent hearing on BJP's plea for Bengal Rath Yatra

New Delhi : In a setback to the BJPs plans to hold rallies in West Bengal at the end of the month, the Supreme Court on Monday declined the partys plea of urgent hearing of its appeal challenging the Calcutta High Court order declining permission for the ‘rath yatra in the state.

The BJP had moved the apex court challenging the Division Bench order quashing a single bench's conditional go-ahead to the party's 'Rath Yatra' programme christened as 'save democracy rallies' in Bengal.

The party's advocate K.S. Bose told IANS that the matter will be listed for hearing when the court reopens after the winter vacation.

In its appeal before the apex court, the BJP has contested the Calcutta High Court order arguing that the "fundamental right of the petitioner to hold a peaceful yatra cannot be withheld on the ground of "mere surmises and conjectures".

It also said that the Bengal government was "resorting to some or other baseless reason to disturb the schedule of the petitioner (BJP), making them suffer financially and also abridge the fundamental right to hold a peaceful yatra".

The BJP had originally scheduled three "Rath Yatra" rallies from north Bengal's Cooch Behar, South 24 Parganas district's Gangasagar and Birbhum district's temple town of Tarapith, to be flagged off by party President Amit Shah on December 7, 9 and 14 respectively. These rallies were meant to touch all 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state before converging in Kolkata in January.

With the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government rejecting permission for the rallies citing "grave apprehension of major breach of peace and communal violence," the BJP moved a single bench of the High Court on December 17 proposing December 22, 24 and 26 as fresh dates for the three rallies.

While the singh bench gave the conditional go-ahead, saying the party should not create any trouble during their movement, the Banerjee government moved a division bench challenging the court's nod.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar on December 21 quashed the single bench's order.

While setting aside Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty's Single Bench's order, the Division Bench directed it to study afresh the 36 intelligence inputs from 31 police stations and five police commissionerates submitted by the state government before it.