HC quashes BJP's Bengal Rath Yatra
Kolkata: The division Bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday quashed a single Bench order that had allowed the BJP to hold its proposed 'Rath Yatra' in the state on Thursday. The Bench comprising Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar also reverted the case to a single Bench and asked it to go through all the intelligence reports before delivering a verdict on the matter.
Senior lawyer Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared in the court on behalf of Kolkata Police and argued that intelligence reports were not taken into consideration by the single Bench while delivering its verdict on Thursday.
Singhvi submitted that it is the apprehension of provocative and inflammatory ambience of the 'yatra' that has led to the refusal of permission to it.
A rally being a one-spot event, the police has not barred these as security aspects can be better taken care of, he submitted.
Trinamool Congress secretary-general Partha Chatterjee welcomed the order of the division Bench saying that they have full faith in the judiciary. Following the order, the state BJP leaders have expressed their wish to move the court once again after going through the division Bench's order. The BJP will not be able to hold the "Rath Yatra" till the Calcutta High Court starts its functioning next year. Friday was the last working day at Calcutta High Court before going on a 10-day Christmas vacation.
The BJP was scheduled to begin its "Rath Yatra" from December 7. A single judge Bench of the High Court did not grant permission for the same on December 6. The party then appealed to the division Bench which in turn asked the state Chief Secretary, Home Secretary and Director General of Police to hold a meeting with three representatives of the saffron party. As the state administration refused permission on December 15, the BJP again moved court on Monday.
Meanwhile, Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Farooq Abdullah, who was in the city on Friday, questioned the necessity of taking out a "Rath Yatra".