HC rejects plea to allow Ramdev's yoga camps in Himachal

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday rejected the plea of Bharat Swabhiman Trust to allow Yoga guru Ramdev to conduct programmes in Kangra and Chamba.

A 'Division Bench comprising Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Dharm' Chand Chaudhary observed that the orders passed in case of petitioner by Karnataka and Gujarat High Court are of no help to the petitioner as same were passed prior to registration of FIR against Ramdev.

The order of Election Commission and the Returning Officers are prima facie justified in the fact and circumstances of this case, the bench noted.

The petitioner trust had contended that respondents have violated their right to hold Yoga programmes in Kangra and Chamba on the pretext of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India.

It was contended that the Model Code of Conduct has no legal validity as Ramdev is an apolitical person and code was applicable only to political persons.

The petitioner trust was willing to give an undertaking that no political activity would be carried during the programmes.

The Bharat Swabhiman Trust was granted permission on April 16 to conduct yoga programmes in various parts of Kangra parliamentary constituency but it was withdrawn yesterday on the basis of directions issued by the EC.

Advocate General Sharvan Dogra contended that the only motive to organize 'Yog Shivir' is to convince the voters in favor of a particular party and the EC has taken a conscious decision to ban the holding of such shivirs to maintain the peace and harmony during elections.

The bench after hearing the parties issued notice to the Election Commission and State Government and directed them to file reply within four weeks.

The Bench, however, verbally observed that court cannot permit politics in the name of Yog camps as such practice is not healthy for democracy.

PTI
First Published: Monday, April 28, 2014, 22:02
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