The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to hear West Bengal BJP’s petition against a Calcutta High Court order denying clearance for its proposed rath yatras across the state and listed the matter for January 7. The apex court had last month refused an urgent hearing and had decided to take up the matter in the normal course.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and S K Kaul agreed to hear the plea, filed by the party’s state vice-president Jay Prakash Majumdar, challenging the December 21 high court judgment of a division bench which has set aside the order of a single bench allowing the yatra.
In its petition, the saffron party claimed that the “right to protest is recognised as a fundamental right under the constitution” and “assumptions” cannot be the ground to take “arbitrary decision on pretext of reasonable restriction”.
The BJP, in its plea, also accused the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) of “trying to snatch voting rights of the people by threatening them and demolishing the democratic rights of the people, which could be seen by the fact that 34 % of seats in panchayat elections went uncontested”.
The plea also said that the rise of the BJP and dissatisfaction among the people with the state government was evident from the panchayat elections conducted earlier this year. “West Bengal has seen unprecedented violence and deaths in last few years, and the general public, members of BJP, (and) members of other political parties are being killed for showing dissent…It is (a) fact that the state of West Bengal is in absolute lawless situation and there are such anarchy and arbitrary actions everyday,” the party has claimed.