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RSS Route March: Madras High Court rebukes TN government for refusing permission, says act against secularism

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The Madras High Court has observed that the decision of Tamil Nadu government not to allow the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to conduct route march and public meetings in the state was against the principle of secularism mentioned in the Constitution.

The observation was made by Justice G Jayachandran, while directing the TN police to permit RSS to hold “route marches” across 35 locations in the State on October 22 and 29 this year.

The single judge bench, in his order of October 16, noted that the state government has not been paying attention to the representations made by RSS members and functionaries for the past one month.

The Court noted that the reason why the state government refused permission was the existence of mosques and churches and a regional office of DMK along some of the proposed routes and potential traffic congestion on some narrow roads.

However, the court held that such grounds were not enough to refuse permission

The court said that the tenor of rejection order was certainly not in tune with the secular or democratic way of governance. 

The court further said that it was neither in obedience or compliance of the Supreme Court’s dictum. 

The court further said that by quoting the existence of structures, place of worship of other religion or office of some organisations, which do not share the same ideology of RSS, and cancelling the request of RSS was contrary to the principle of secularism, which was the foundation of the Constitution of India.

The bench accordingly allowed a batch of petitions filed by local and State-level members of the RSS seeking such permission.

It directed the state authorities and the participants of route march to ensure that the route march and public meetings were held peacefully.

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