THE Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has clarified before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court that the Smruti Mandir premises, where the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has proposed to undertake developmental work, belongs to Hedgewar Smarak Samiti, which is a registered society and that the RSS has no role to play in the independent working of the Samiti.
The RSS’s response came in an affidavit as a respondent in a PIL filed by social activist Janardan Moon, challenging the NMC’s plan to carry out developmental work on the Smruti Mandir premises at a cost of Rs 1.37 crore. The HC had made RSS a respondent along with the General Administration Department of the state government, the NMC commissioner and chairman of the NMC standing committee.
The ruling BJP has defended the work, saying that Nagpur is known as “Sanghbhoomi” and “Deekshabhoomi: and the NMC is well within its rights to carry out such work at Smruti Mandir since it has precedents at Deekshabhoomi and other places. Moon, however, claimed that the work cannot be carried out since the RSS is an unregistered private organisation.
In the affidavit, RSS general secretary Suresh Joshi said, “Smruti Mandir belongs to Hedgewar Smarak Samiti, which is a registered society and the RSS has no role to play in its functioning. The petitioner is fully aware of this fact and has deliberately made misleading statement with ulterior motive.”
Joshi further said, “The present litigation is actually a political interest litigation. The petitioner has also sought a certain direction against the RSS from the Charity Commissioner’s office, which has already ruled that RSS is not registered with the office of Charity Commissioner. The petitioner has further moved the Charity office seeking registration of a new organization by the name Rashtriya Sayamsevak Sangh. The said plea is moved with the intention of creating confusion and causing prejudice to RSS.”
The RSS has prayed for dismissal of Moon’s petition.