The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has clarified before the Nagpur bench of 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 in the case along with General Administration Department of the state government, the NMC commissioner and Chairman of the NMC standing committee.
The developmental work proposed at Smruti Mandir, regular RSS venue for all its major programs including Vijayadashmi and annual training camp of its senior cadres, comprises construction of a compound wall and cemented roads within the premises. The ruling BJP has defended the work saying 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, has claimed that the work cannot be carried out since the RSS is a unregistered private organisation. In the affidavit, RSS General Secretary Suresh Joshi has 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 had 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 caused prejudice to RSS.”
The high court has posted the matter for hearing after Diwali.
Meanwhile, Moon’s application before the Assistant Charity Commissioner for registration of new organisation by the name RSS is put up for final order on Wednesday.