Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to hold its ‘route marches’ and public meetings in 51 places in Tamil Nadu on November 6, instead of the originally proposed October 2.
Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan, who gave the direction to this effect, while entertaining a contempt application from the RSS, also directed the state government and the police to give the permission and inform the court on the same 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 judge said.
The court also said all 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 also.
Earlier, 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 due to issues such as NIA raids and the petrol bomb attacks, and the ban on the Popular Front of India (PFI).
Senior advocate NR Elango, representing the TN State, said the government had received intelligence inputs from the Centre with regard to the possible law and order problems, in view of the ban order on PFI, the recent NIA raids against it, and petrol bomb attacks on certain BJP and Hindu outfit members.
The lives of the members of the general public are foremost important and the State cannot take any risk on their safety.
Senior advocate G Rajagopalan and advocate B Rabu Manohar, representing the RSS, citing a Supreme Court ruling, told the judge that law and order problems can never be a reason to deny permission. The SC had made it clear it was for the authorities to maintain law and order.
Before suggesting the alternate date, the judge also concurred with the State government and said he was watching the ground reality and the threat due to the ban on PFI, NIA raids, and petrol bomb attacks.
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.