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Supreme Court allows RSS to hold rallies in Tamil Nadu, rejects plea challenging Madras High Court order

The Supreme Court on Tuesday gave permission to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to carry out its route march or rallies in the state of Tamil Nadu, as per schedule.

The Bench of Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal passed the orders, while dismissing an appeal filed by the Tamil Nadu government against the Madras High Court order of February 10 that allowed RSS to carry out its route march in Tamil Nadu on rescheduled dates without restrictions.

The government of Tamil Nadu had claimed in its appeal that recent rumours had triggered panic among Hindi-speaking workers in the state.

Earlier on March 17, the Bench of Justice V. Ramasubramanian and Justice Pankaj Mithal had listed the matter for March 27, after the state government apprised the Apex Court that it has filed a new special leave petition against the original order passed by the Madras High Court on September 22, 2022, which allowed the organisation to hold processions.

The top court of the country had allowed the State to conduct dialogue with RSS on the proposed routes for March until the next date.

The route march by RSS, scheduled to be held on March 5 in Tamil Nadu, was cancelled after the Apex Court adjourned the case on March 3 on a submission by the State that it was holding discussion with different parties to arrive at a solution.

In October last year, RSS had sought permission from the Tamil Nadu government to carry out its march in the state to mark the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav,’ as well as Gandhi Jayanti.

After the state government denied permission, the Hindu orgnisation moved the High Court.

A Single-Judge Bench of the High Court had given permission to RSS on November 4 to conduct the march, subject to certain conditions like restricting the march indoors or in enclosed spaces.

The Division Bench of the High Court, comprising Justice R. Mahadevan and Justice Mohammed Shaffiq, lifted these restrictions in its February 10 order, while stressing on the importance of protests in a healthy democracy.

RSS then moved the Apex Court against the High Court verdict.

RSS was represented in the Supreme Court by Senior Advocates Mahesh Jethmalani, Guru Krishna Kumar and Menaka Guruswamy, along with Advocates Nachiketa Joshi, Archana Pathak Dave, Mugdha Pande, Santosh Kumar and Praneet Pranav.

Senior Advocate Mukul Rohatgi appeared for the Stae of Tamil Nadu.

(Case title: K Phanindra Reddy and ors vs G Subramanian)

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