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BJP’s Rath Yatra in Bengal Caught Between Yes and No. For Now, it is on Hold as HC Reviews Order


Kolkata: In setback for the BJP, the Calcutta High Court on Friday quashed the single bench order that allowed BJP’s ‘Rath Yatra’ in West Bengal.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar sent the case back to the single bench to consider intelligence inputs by state agencies.

The two judges’ bench order came after hearing an appeal moved by the state government, challenging the Thursday order of the single bench.

The division bench said the order needs to consider afresh the 36 intelligence inputs submitted by the state government before the single bench.
Advocate General Kishore Dutta, representing the state, said that the single bench had not considered the intelligence inputs submitted to it in a sealed cover and had returned it to him without even opening it.

He had submitted intelligence inputs from 31 police districts and five police commisionerates before the bench, which he said talked about apprehension of communal unrest if the BJP’s proposed roadshows were allowed.

Reacting to the order, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said, “It is too early to comment on Calcutta High Court’s order. If required we will go to the Supreme Court. We are confident that we will get justice.”

Earlier, while allowing the BJP to carry out its rath yatra, the court had observed that the threat to public order “must be real, not imaginary or a likely possibility” for denying permission to a political rally.

Referring to the State government’s order, where three senior officials denied permission to yatras after holding a meeting with BJP leaders, the court said that intelligence reports from several districts were made without specifying the districts.

A “rath yatra”, which was scheduled to be flagged off by BJP president Amit Shah on December 7 is being contested at the Calcutta High Court since the start of the month. After the Trinamool government did not respond to the BJP’s request, the party approached the court.

| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta

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