Kolkata, December 6: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) to hold a rath yatra, which was to be flagged off by party president Amit Shah from Cooch Behar on Friday.
The High Court ordered that the rath yatra cannot take place till the next date of hearing, January 9, when it would consider reports from the 24 districts through which the rally was to pass.
The Calcutta High Court has deferred the rally until the Superintended of Police of respective districts speak to BJP presidents (of those districts) and file a report by December 21, according to news agency ANI.
“Court has passed order that by 21 Dec the Superintendent of Police of respective districts will speak to district Presidents of BJP & file a report on 9th Jan, before the HC of Calcutta. Till then HC has deferred the rally,” Arkho Kumar Naag, State Advocate told ANI.
The BJP will be approaching a division bench on Friday morning against Calcutta High Court’s order, ANI reported.
“We will be going to division bench tomorrow morning. We will seek justice that any peaceful democratic movement is permissible under Indian Constitution,” West Bengal BJP vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar told ANI.
The Mamata Banerjee government told a bench of Calcutta High Court it will not give its approval for the rath yatra . The state’s advocate general informed a bench of justice Tapabrata Chakraborty on Thursday morning about the decision.
“In a democratic set up all political parties are at liberty to pursue their programme. The government has no business stopping it,” said Dilip Ghosh, president of the BJP’s West Bengal unit, before the hearing.
“If the administration denies us permission, we can also say that we will go ahead with the programme without your consent. The programme will set out and reach its destination. None can prevent it,” Ghosh said.
Last week, BJP leaders said they will take out their yatra, formally known as Ganatantra Bachao Jatra or rally to save democracy, even if the administration denies it permission.
“The advocate general said in the court on Wednesday that BJP leaders did not address the letter to the appropriate authority. He also alleged that the content was not clear,” Feroze Eduljee, one of the advocates for the BJP, said on Wednesday.
“The court then remarked that the administration should have guided them to the proper authority and also asked the stand of the government on the matter. The AG said he will inform the court of the decision at the first hour on Thursday,” Eduljee said.
The lawyers of the saffron party told the court that despite repeated letters, the administration kept ignoring the communication.
On November 30, the state unit of the BJP filed a petition seeking direction from the court to the administration to ensure the smooth passage of the programme that is supposed to travel through all the 294 assembly constituencies of the state in more than 40 days.
Three raths, air-conditioned buses, will be flagged off from Madan Mohan temple in Cooch Behar on Friday, Kakdwip near the pilgrimage of Ganga Sagar at the confluence of the Hooghly river and the Bay of Bengal on December 9 and temple town of Tarapith on December 14.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is supposed to address four public rallies at different points of the yatra in Durgapur, Malda, Srirampur and Krishnagar. (Agencies)