The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for a Rath Yatra from Cooch Behar in West Bengal, reported news agency ANI. Notably, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal had earlier denied permission for the proposed Rath Yatra, which was slated to be attended by BJP president Amit Shah.
Denying the permission for the Rath Yatra, the Calcutta High Court scheduled the next hearing in the case on January 9, 2019.
Following the decision of the court, West Bengal BJP vice president Jay Prakash Majumdar said that the party would move a division bench of the Calcutta High Court Friday morning. "We will seek justice that any peaceful democratic movement is permissible under Indian Constitution," said Majumdar.
According to BJP's lawyer Phiroze Edulji, Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta refused to hear an appeal by the party, asking it to mention appeal at 10.30 am on Friday.
The West Bengal government had denied permission for the rally on ground that it might cause communal tensions. The state’s advocate general had informed the High Court about the decision of the government.
The government informed the High Court that Cooch Behar superintendent of police had also refused permission for the rally, citing that the region was communally sensitive.
Stating that refusal of permission was an administrative decision in view of the ground situation, the AG said that details of apprehension cannot be spelt out in open court due to its sensitive nature and he can submit these to the court in a sealed cover, if directed.
The BJP, which moved the court seeking direction to the state government for giving permission for its three rallies, told the bench of Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty that it will hold peaceful yatras.
Asked by the judge as to who will take responsibility if anything untoward happens, BJP counsel Anindya Mitra submitted that the party will hold a peaceful rally, but that it was the duty of the state government to maintain law and order.
Mitra submitted that the Constitution guarantees the right to hold political programmes.
(With PTI Inputs)