The Tamil Nadu police have approached the Madras High Court with a plea to review its September 22 order granting permission for Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) route march at over 50 places across the State on October 2.
It has cited circumstances such as the National Investigation Agency (NIA) raids on Popular Front of India (PFI) establishments in the State and petrol bomb attacks on the BJP and RSS functionaries as reasons to review order.
Though the review petitions were filed on September 27 itself, they remained unnumbered due to the sheer volume of the petitions. The RSS office-bearers had filed individual writ petitions seeking permission for the march in their local areas. Justice G.K. Ilanthiraiyan had clubbed all petitions together and passed common orders directing the jurisdictional police to grant permission for the route march as well as public meetings, and imposed many conditions.
In the review petition filed through State Public Prosecutor Hasan Mohammed Jinnah, the police had cited only the NIA raids and petrol bomb attacks as a reason to seek a re-look into the September 22 court order. However, in the rejection orders passed by the police on September 28, the police had also cited the ban imposed on PFI that day under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act of 1967 as a reason for rejection of permission.
The police pointed out that the Central and State intelligence agencies had warned that in the wake of the ban, there were high chances of anti-social elements engaging in activities to disturb public peace. Stating that a few other organisations too had sought permission for similar processions on October 2, the police had decided not to grant permission for any kind of procession, public meeting or protest that day to maintain peace, and law and order.
RSS files contempt petition
In the meantime, senior counsel S. Prabakaran, representing some of the RSS functionaries, made a mention before Justice Ilanthiraiyan on Thursday and sought permission for early hearing of contempt of court petitions filed by his clients against the Home Secretary, Director General of Police, the Superintendents of Police and other subordinate officials. He argued that the police ought not to have rejected permission, which is in violation of the September 22 order.
When it was highlighted that an effective hearing on the contempt petition might take time since it was mandatory to issue statutory notice of four weeks to the alleged contemnors and that the petitioners could instead challenge the rejection orders passed by the police, the senior counsel said he had preferred sub-applications challenging those rejection orders. After hearing him, the judge agreed to hear those applications on Friday if they get numbered by Thursday.