Supreme Court refuses to clear BJP's Rath Yatra for now, asks Bengal government to consider revised schedule

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Updated: Jan 15, 2019, 04:28 PM(IST)

File photo of Supreme Court of India. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The apex court added that if the BJP comes out with a revised plan of Yatra, it may be considered it later, news agency ANI reported. 

The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to give a go-ahead to BJP's Rath Yatra in West Bengal. The top court, however, said that the BJP state unit can conduct meetings and rallies. 

The bench said the apprehension of the state government of possible law and order situation cannot be called "unfounded" and BJP will have to take all possible steps to address the apprehension in a reasonable manner.

The apex court added that if the BJP comes out with a revised plan of Yatra, it may be considered it later, news agency ANI reported. 

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi asked the BJP's West Bengal unit to submit a revised schedule of its proposed 'Rath Yatra' with the authorities and seek necessary approvals.

The bench also comprising Justices L N Rao and SK Kaul asked the West Bengal government to consider the revised schedule of the BJP for 'Rath Yatra' keeping in mind the fundamental right of speech and expression under the Constitution, news agency PTI reported. 

The BJP has now decided to cut short its 40-day programme to 20 and the fresh 'Yatras' would start from Baharampur in Murshidabad district, Diamond Harbour in South 24 Parganas district, Medinipur and the Lok Sabha constituency of Kolkata North, a lawyer associated with the matter said, adding that the decision was taken in view of the upcoming school examinations and the general elections.

The West Bengal unit of the BJP has challenged the December 21 order of the division bench of the Calcutta High Court, which had set aside the order of a single-judge bench allowing the procession.

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An apex court bench headed by Justice S K Kaul also asked the BJP state unit to submit a revised plan for its "Save Democracy Rally" for consideration by the state government.

The bench posted the matter for hearing on January 15.

The BJP's West Bengal unit has approached the apex court seeking permission to take out the rally, which would cover 42 parliamentary constituencies in the state ahead of general elections to be held this year.     

In its plea, the BJP has said that their fundamental right to hold a peaceful yatra cannot be withheld, news agency PTI reported. 

The party had planned to launch the yatra from three districts of the state.

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, Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas on December 9, and from Tarapith temple in Birbhum on December 14, PTI reported. 

(With inputs from PTI

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