The Supreme Court today allowed the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to carry out rallies in Tamil Nadu, rejecting the MK Stalin-led DMK government’s request.
The DMK government had challenged a Madras High Court order permitting the RSS to carry out marches in the state, citing what it called rumours that had triggered panic among Hindi-speaking workers in the state.
The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of the state government, which had referred to law and order concerns and had said neither should everything be banned, nor should it be allowed.
Arguing on behalf of the RSS, senior lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani said the state was preventing the marches saying someone might attack. Fundamental rights cannot be regimented like this, he said, asserting that earlier such events had passed off peacefully.
The Tamil Nadu government had earlier told the Supreme Court that it is not completely against the RSS march, but couldn’t allow it in sensitive locations.
In October, the RSS – the BJP’s ideological mentor – had sought the Tamil Nadu government’s permission for marches to mark “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” and Gandhi Jayanti.
The state government had refused, and the RSS approached the High Court.
In November, a single judge bench allowed the RSS to organize marches only in enclosed spaces or playgrounds.
In February, these restrictions were removed by a division bench, which stressed on the importance of protests in a healthy democracy.
The state government appealed against the High Court order.
Since 2014, successive governments in Tamil Nadu have denied permission for RSS marches in several districts.