THE West Bengal government on Thursday suffered a setback after the division bench of Calcutta High Court rejected its appeal to postpone a statewide motorcycle rally by Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) — the BJP youth wing.
On Wednesday, a single bench of the HC granted permission to the BJYM to organise the rally after the government refused permission at the last minute. Challenging the single-bench order, the government approached a division bench on Thursday, claiming that adequate security arrangements for the BJYM programme was not possible as a large number of police personnel had been deployed for the Gangasagar Mela. However, upholding the earlier order, the division bench dismissed the state’s appeal.
“Today, the state government brought a motion before the division bench against our rally. The court upheld the single bench order and said a special officer
will be deployed to oversee our rally. The officer will keep a judicial magistrate informed about the rally’s progress. The officer will have the power to stop our rally if any untoward incident occurs,” said state BJYM president Debjit Sarkar, who moved the HC on Wednesday.
PTI reported that the bench comprising acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice Arijit Banerjee ordered that any violation of law and order or deviation from the route may lead to cancellation of the rally. It directed the police to provide adequate assistance to the special officer.
The bench asked the judges of every district, through which the rally would pass, to accompany it when it goes through its territorial jurisdiction. The police will have to depute an officer not below the rank of additional commissioner or superintendent of police to accompany the rally, the court said, reported PTI.
PTI said that appearing for the state, Advocate-General Kishore Datta proposed that the rally be held after January 26.