BJP KNOCKS THE SC DOORS
In a turnout of events yesterday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has approached the Supreme Court, challenging the Calcutta High Court Order restraining it from holding its proposed Rath Yatras in the State of West Bengal. BJP, wanted to organise Rath Yatra to “SAVE DEMOCRACY”, but it was felt by them that the State Government of West Bengal is showing its Political Vendetta, hence the move to approach and knock the Supreme Court doors.
Incidentally, BJP had planned three Rath Yatras from different parts of the State of West Bengal, with chariots travelling across the State’s 42 parliamentary constituencies over a period of one-and-a-half months. This was planned as one of the pre-poll propagandas in absolute peaceful and harmony. The sudden impugned order had, however, overturned the single judge’s permission to the party and had sent the case back to the single bench to consider intelligence inputs by State Agencies. In doing so, the Division Bench had noted that the single judge had failed to consider over thirty intelligence reports indicating that the Yatras were likely to affect communal peace in the State.
The Petition filed by EC Agarwal, now claims that the restriction violates the party’s fundamental rights under Articles 19(1)(d) “Article 19 (1) (d) guarantees to all citizens of India the right “to move freely throughout the territory of India”. This right is, however, subject to reasonable restrictions mentioned in clause (5) of Article 19, i.e. In the interest of general public or for the protection of the interests of any Schedule. Article 19 (1) (d) of the Constitution provides the citizens a right to go wherever they like in Indian Territory without any kind of restriction whatsoever. They can move from one State to other and also from one place to another place within any State of India” and Article 21, “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to a procedure established by law”, of the Constitution of India, on the basis of mere surmises and conjectures.
It alleges that the respondent authorities had “illegally, arbitrarily, irrationally and unconstitutionally” delayed the grant of permission for the proposed Yatra and that the High Court should not have remitted the matter back to the single judge for re-consideration. Questioning the intention of the authorities in denying it such permission, it further asserts that this has been a case of political vendetta, submitting,
“….the Honourable High Court failed to appreciate that the petitioner is a Political Organization, which undertakes various political programmes in the State of West Bengal as per their democratic right and since the petitioner has emerged as main opposition party in the State of West Bengal therefore the present Government has been trying to stop BJP while using such tactics like the assumptions in the instant case”.
It in fact, also contends that the State of West Bengal is in an “absolute lawless situation and there are such anarchy and arbitrary actions everyday”, claiming that BJP members are being killed for expressing dissent against the actions of the State Government. The Petition goes on to submit that the party has been facing such “political Vendetta” by the ruling All India Trinamool Congress (AITC) Party since the year 2014, with permissions being denied to it at the last minute with the sole intention of harassing it.
It refers to a similar incident in January this year, when the BJP, was denied permission to hold a bike rally from Contai to Cooch Behar, pointing out that it was finally accorded permission by the High Court, it avers, “The rally went peacefully and the Youth Wing of the Petitioner concluded the rally in time. No remarkable bad incident happened in the rally and State Government could not raise any objection. Every time the petitioner is seeing same vindictive attitude of the State Government of West Bengal”.
The Petition drawn by, Swarupama Chaturvedi, further asserts that the Government and the Executive in the State are working as “political agents” of the ruling party and hence intentionally did not respond to letters sent by the BJP seeking permission to conduct the Yatras. Furthermore, the party claims that its intention behind organisation of the Rath Yatras is to inform the citizens about their voting choices and that the party has been trying to give the yatras a “communal colour” despite the fact that they are being conducted to “SAVE THE DEMOCRACY”.
The Petition then assures the Court that the proposed Yatra would not cause any disturbance to the general public and that the Party is willing to comply with any “practical terms and conditions” that might be imposed on it. Let’s hope the proposed yatra wil be conducted in absolute peace, harmony, to save the democracy and prove the State of West Bengal, that once again they are wrong, vindictive, fear the popularity growth of BJP in their state.
VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, CHENNAI BASED ADVOCATE