New Delhi, Jan 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court Thursday agreed to hear on January 8 a plea by the BJP against a Calcutta High Court order not allowing the party to undertake Rath Yatra in West Bengal.
The matter was mentioned for urgent hearing before a bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul which agreed to hear it next week.
The apex court initially said it would hear the matter on January 7 but some lawyers urged it to fix the plea for hearing on January 8.
“List the matter on January 8 before the appropriate bench as per the roster,” the bench said.
The BJP’s West Bengal unit has approached the apex court seeking permission to hold the campaign ‘Save Democracy Rally’, which would cover 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state ahead of general elections to be held this year.
It has challenged the December 21 order of a division bench of the high court which had set aside the order of a single judge allowing the yatra or procession.
In its plea, the BJP has said that their fundamental right to hold a peaceful yatra cannot be withheld.
The party had planned to launch the yatra from three districts of the state.
The high court’s division bench had earlier sent the case back to a single judge to hear it afresh and also to consider the intelligence inputs by state agencies.
The order of the division bench had come after hearing an appeal moved by the West Bengal government challenging the order of the single judge.
The rallies, according to the original schedule, were supposed to be flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah from Bengal’s Cooch Behar district on December 7 last year, Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas on December 9 and from Tarapith temple in Birbhum on December 14.
In the plea filed in the top court, the BJP’s West Bengal unit has contended that authorities cannot abridge their right and they have a duty to facilitate them in exercising their democratic right.
The plea has alleged that the state government was repeatedly “attacking” the fundamental right of citizens due to which different petitions were filed challenging the activities of the state government in denying permission to different organisations and the top court has allowed the citizens to organise their events.
It has claimed that earlier also, permission was denied several times at the last moment to “harass the BJP” which later moved the high court and that the party “is facing such political vendetta since 2014 in West Bengal”.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.