The Supreme Court on Monday reserved order on Tamil Nadu government’s plea challenging the February 10, 2023, Madras High Court order permitting Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) public programmes including route marches in the State.
A bench of justice V Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal reserved the order as the Tamil Nadu government told the court that neither everything can be banned nor everything can be allowed.
The Tamil Nadu government had also appealed the Supreme Court against November 2022, order of the Madras High Court.
Appearing for Tamil Nadu government, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said that there is no absolute right to hold a programme, and the same is subject to restrictions by the police being responsible for maintaining law and order. In a poser, he said how there could be a direction that route marches can be taken out wherever desired.
Appearing for RSS functionary G Subramanian from Chennai, s Senior advocate Mahesh Jethmalani said that Tamil Nadu government was not allowing the route marches on the apprehension that they may come under attack the programme is on.
Jethmalani said that because of the apprehension of someone else’s specious conduct, the fundamental rights cannot be regimented in this fashion. He said that similar programmes in the past have passed off peacefully, there were no complaints.
Senior Advocate Maneka Guruswamy, appearing for the RSS questioned the status report filed by Tamil Nadu government, asking can public order and reasonable restrictions be reduced to state that RSS processions can be permitted only in an enclosed ground.
The court was hearing Tamil Nadu government appeal against the Madras High Court order permitting RSS to take out its route march in the state. On February 10, Madras High Court directed Tamil Nadu police to grant permission to RSS to take route marches in various districts across the State on public roads.
In the last hearing, the Tamil Nadu government had told the court that it was not opposed to RSS holding its programmes in the State but it cannot be without restrictions and in certain areas the proposed route of marches and gatherings cannot be permitted.