Calcutta High Court stays single bench’s order allowing BJP’s rath yatrahttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/calcutta-hc-division-bench-quashes-single-benchs-order-allowing-bjps-rath-yatra-5504108/

Calcutta High Court stays single bench’s order allowing BJP’s rath yatra

The state government on Thursday sought a stay on the order, but the court rejected the plea. It had been denying permission on the ground that it may lead to communal unrest.

The BJP was earlier scheduled to kick off its rath yatra programme from December 7.

The division bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday put a stay on Thursday’s single bench order which had allowed the BJP to hold rath yatra in West Bengal. The bench comprising Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta and Justice Shampa Sarka has also reverted the case to single bench and asked it to go through all intelligence reports before delivering a verdict on it.

Interestingly, lawyer and Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared on behalf of Kolkata Police and argued that all intelligence reports were not taken into consideration by the single bench before delivering the verdict on Thursday.

“The division bench has set aside yesterday’s order and reverted it to the single bench. The court today said that the single bench needs to go through all intelligence reports before delivering a verdict on this,” said a counsellor appearing for the state government.

Following the division bench order, the BJP said they will once again move the court to obtain permission for the yatras. “We will first examine the division bench order then decide whether to move the single bench again or the Supreme Court. Today the court has not ruled out the Rath Yatras. So there is still scope to fight it in the court of law,” said West Bengal BJP President Dilip Ghosh.

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Today is also the last working day at Calcutta High Court before the 10-day Christmas vacation. As a result, the BJP will have to move the court next year and till then it will not be able to take out Rath Yatras in West Bengal.

“We have full faith in the judiciary and we welcome today’s order,” said TMC secretary-general Partha Chatterjee.

The BJP was earlier scheduled to kick off its rath yatra programme from December 7. On December 6, a single judge bench of the HC refused permission to the BJP. The party then approached the division bench, which asked the state chief secretary, home secretary and director general of police to hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP and take a decision by December 14.

On December 15, the administration refused permission, following which the BJP moved the court on Monday. Welcoming the court’s order on Thursday, the BJP said the new dates would be decided soon.

“We were ready to abide by the conditions that have been laid down by the court. We had agreed to abide by similar conditions but the state government deliberately stalled our yatras by making baseless arguments. We thank the court and the people of the state for their support. Now, we will sit and decide the fresh dates for our rath yatra,” state BJP president Dilip Ghosh had said.