The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to permit the Bharatiya Janata Party from holding a rath yatra in West Bengal, ANI reported. The top court was hearing the saffron party’s appeal against a Calcutta High Court order restraining the party from conducting the yatra.
However, a bench comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices LN Rao and SK Kaul allowed the state BJP unit to conduct meetings and rallies. The saffron party agreed to submit a revised plan for the yatra after the court said it might consider the matter again if a new plan is filed.
The judges said the state government’s apprehension that the rath yatra might lead to a possible law-and-order situation cannot be called unfounded, PTI reported. It asked the BJP to take all possible steps to address the apprehension in a reasonable manner and seek fresh approval from authorities.
The court also directed the Trinamool Congress government to keep in mind the fundamental right of speech and expression while deciding on the BJP’s application, the Hindustan Times reported.
On December 21, a division bench of the High Court set aside an earlier judgement by a single bench that allowed the party to hold the rallies, which are expected to cover all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies of the state.
BJP President Amit Shah was initially scheduled to launch the statewide programme at a public rally in Cooch Behar on December 7. The Trinamool Congress-led government on Decmeber 15 had refused permission citing intelligence reports that allegedly warned of possible communal violence in areas where the saffron party planned to hold the events.