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Public Opinion Cannot Take The Face Of Evidence: RSS Argues In Plea Against Single Judge Order Imposing Conditions For Route March

Upasana Sajeev
23 Dec 2022 5:30 AM GMT
Public Opinion Cannot Take The Face Of Evidence: RSS Argues In Plea Against Single Judge Order Imposing Conditions For Route March

Public opinion cannot take the face of evidence, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) argued before the Madras High Court while challenging a single bench's order imposing certain conditions on its route march.

"The court had looked at the intelligence report and observed that there was nothing in it. Yet, it went on to impose conditions. Public Opinion and Press Reports cannot take the face of evidence," the party's counsel argued.

The submissions were made before a bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice Sathya Narayana Prasad. The court adjourned the matter to January 5 after the State submitted that it was yet to receive all the documents in the letter patent appeal.

Senior Counsel G Rajagopal appearing for RSS submitted that the only reason why the State had denied permission for the route march was citing law and order reason. However, it drew attention to the fact that every other State had granted permission and Tamil Nadu remained the only State where the organisation could not carry out the route march.

The organisation also submitted that by denying permission to conduct route march, their fundamental right of freedom of movement was being affected.

Constitution gives us a right. Based on that we have sought permission. We're not even stressing for a date. We're ready to carry out the procession on the date fixed by the State. But we want to have a procession.

Additional Public Prosecutor Raj Tilak appearing for the State challenged the maintainability of the letter patent appeal by submitting that the single judge had noted that by refusing or modifying permission to the RSS, the State government had not committed any wilful disobedience, and no case for contempt of court was made out.

The Court then asked the organisation if it could submit a fresh application for conducting route march on a new date. Senior Counsel NL Rajah for the RSS responded that while they are willing to do so, the State would again reject their application "citing Covid in China or war in Taiwan".

It was submitted that on September 29, the single judge had directed the State to consider their representation and grant permission accordingly. However the judge later modified this order and directed the organisation to conduct its meeting in an enclosed space with certain conditions. The court had also directed the participants not to bring any stick, lathi or weapon that may cause injury to any one.

Case Title: G Subramanian v. K Phanindra Reddy IAS (batch cases)

Case No: LPA 6 of 2022

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