Calcutta HC division bench quashes order allowing 'Rath Yatra' in West Bengal, deals blow to BJP

In a blow to the BJP, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court on Friday quashed the order of a single bench of the court that had allowed the party to carry out its "Rath Yatra" in West Bengal.

A bench of Chief Justice Debashish Kargupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar has sent the case back to the single bench, and asked it to consider intelligence by state agencies.

File image of Calcutta High Court. Wikimedia commons

File image of Calcutta High Court. Wikimedia Commons

The state government early on Friday moved an appeal before a division bench of the Calcutta High Court, challenging the single bench order. Moving the appeal before the division bench comprising Chief Justice Debasish Kargupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar, the state government expressed urgency and sought an immediate hearing.

The court granted leave to the state government to move the appeal and asked it to serve copies of its appeal to the respondent, the BJP, following which the hearing would commence.

The single bench, presided by Justice Tapabrata Chakraborty, granted the BJP permission for three yatras and directed that the administration should ensure that there is no breach of law and order.

The rath yatras will be a part of the BJP's "Save Democracy Rally".

On December 6, a single judge bench of the high court had refused permission to the BJP to hold the rallies, which was scheduled to be flagged off by BJP chief Amit Shah from Cooch Behar in North Bengal on 7 December. The party had then approached the division bench.

The division bench had on 7 December asked the state chief secretary, the home secretary and the director general of police to hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP and take a decision on the yatra by 14 December.

After parleys with the BJP team, the three officers refused permission for the rallies on 15 December on the grounds that it might lead to communal tension. The state BJP had moved the court again challenging the government's denial of permission to its programme.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 21, 2018 16:13 PM

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