In a major setback for the BJP, the Calcutta HC’s Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice of Calcutta HC has set aside the single bench order of granting BJP permission to organise Rath Yatras in the state. The bench had sent the case back to the Single Bench and asked it to consider all the relevant details before arriving at the judgment.
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Yesterday, a Single Bench of Calcutta HC had passed an order approving BJP’s plea for organising Yatras in West Bengal. It directed the police machinery in the state to ensure smooth carrying out of yatras without any breach in law and order. The Division Bench, however, today quashed the verdict and sent the case back to the single bench to reconsider.
While the fundamental rights of a political party to take out rally in any part of the country was argued and debated upon by the BJP counsel, the Division Bench, however, pointed out the non-consideration by the single bench of the 36 ‘Intelligence Reports’ foreboding communal tensions in the state if BJP is allowed to hold yatras. The Division Bench questioned the merit of the judgment highlighting the non-consideration of the ‘intelligence reports’.
The division bench comprising the Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar decreed the BJP not to hold any rath yatra as of now.
The BJP counsel also raised reservations about the validity of the ‘intelligence reports’ as they were not being shared with the BJP. Representing the state government, senior Congress leader and lawyer Dr. Abhishek Manu Singhvi stated that it was the jurisprudence of the Division Bench to allow sharing of such sensitive information with the petitioners i.e BJP.
Defending police’s decision of not allowing the BJP to hold yatras in the state, Singhvi drew the court’s attention to the 3 intelligence reports raising apprehensions of communal tensions if yatras are allowed.
The latest decision by the Calcutta HC can be described as a victory for the Mamata government who had filed an appeal and asked for an urgent hearing following the Single Bench’s order yesterday.