The Madras High Court on Friday 6 November allowed the RSS to hold route marches at 44 locations across Tamil Nadu, excluding six locations in the two communally sensitive districts of Coimbatore and Kanyakumari.
Justice GK Elanthirayan was hearing a batch of contempt petitions filed by the RSS against the state police to prevent the procession from taking place. The court said permission cannot be granted for the ceremony at six places – Coimbatore, Pollachi, Palladam, Mettupalayam, Arumanai and Nagercoil – as they are sensitive places, and rejected the state government’s decision to deny permission to other places. The court asked the RSS to ensure peace during the march and fulfill all conditions.
“Processions and public meetings should be held in compound premises like fields or stadiums. It is clarified that while conducting a procession and public meeting, the participants shall proceed in their respective vehicles without causing any obstruction to the general public and traffic,” it said.
The order states, “No one shall sing or speak ill of any person, caste, religion etc” and “Participants shall not speak or express anything in favor of any organization banned by the Government of India for any reason… They should also leave our country.” shall not engage in any act that undermines sovereignty and integrity.”
Permission was denied by the Coimbatore police in the context of a car blast in front of a temple on October 23. The order said the RSS could approach the police after two months for permission
The petition filed by the RSS on November 2 said that out of 50 places only three were allowed to hold route marches, 23 were allowed to hold public meetings indoors and 24 were completely denied.
The state government produced intelligence reports in a sealed cover detailing cases registered between 2008 and 2020 for denying permission to the route march. The court, however, said that all the FIRs were “too old and the reasons stated in the report cannot be accepted, since everywhere there are accused and FIRs against them”.
“Therefore, the mere pendency of FIRs against a particular organization cannot be a reason for rejecting the request made by the petitioners,” the order said.