TN RSS Route Marches : Supreme Court Facilitates RSS Route Marches in Tamil Nadu
New Delhi, November 6 (City Times): (TN RSS Route Marches) : In a significant development, the Tamil Nadu government has pledged its commitment before the Supreme Court to grant permission for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct route marches within the state. Following this assurance, a bench of justices, Surya Kant and Dipankar Dutta, has instructed the RSS to submit the proposed routes for these marches to the state authorities within three days. The concerned authorities have been tasked with making a decision on the routes by November 16.
These route marches are expected to be carried out in the state, with tentative dates set for November 19 or 26.
The Tamil Nadu government had taken the matter to the Supreme Court, contesting the order of the Madurai Bench of the High Court of Madras that permitted the RSS to conduct flag marches within the state. The legal representation for the Tamil Nadu government was provided by Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal and advocate on record Sabarish Subramanian.
The government of the southern state challenged the High Court’s order, issued on October 18, 2023, which allowed the RSS to organize flag marches in various regions of Tamil Nadu. The petition asserted that the order had been passed without due consideration of the history of violent incidents, the necessity and purpose of such marches, intelligence reports suggesting potential disturbances to law and order, and in ignorance of other religious gatherings during the ongoing Navratri festival and Thevar Jayanti celebrations throughout Tamil Nadu.
The petition further argued that the respondents represent an organization called Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS), which, being neither a citizen of India nor a corporate body, does not possess the fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 19 of the Indian Constitution, rights that are exclusively available to Indian citizens.
The petition contended, “The respondents, without any apparent reason or just cause, sought permissions from various police and administrative authorities in Tamil Nadu to conduct flag marches and processions on October 10, 2023, and October 29, 2023. The route maps for these marches traverse narrow roads and pass through areas where places of worship of minority communities are located.”
While the police authorities were engaged in gathering essential information for processing the requests for march permissions, the respondents had filed numerous Writ Petitions before the Madurai Bench of the High Court of Madras, seeking the disposition of those requests.
“While the case was under consideration, law enforcement agencies, in light of intelligence reports, the prevailing law and order situation, and resource availability, factored in ongoing festivals and the historical context of similar marches in India. Notably, recent incidents in West Bengal, where such marches resulted in communal conflicts, influenced the decision to deny permission,” emphasized the petitioner.
Despite the petition becoming moot and the respondents lacking the legal standing to file a Writ Petition, the Madurai Bench of the High Court transformed the case into an appeal concerning the validity of the administrative decision, without adhering to established legal principles. This resulted in the court permitting the flag marches by overturning the petitioner’s rejection orders.