The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court Wednesday dismissed a plea filed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) seeking its removal as respondent from a PIL against the Dr Hedgewar Smriti Mandir in Reshimbagh, Nagpur.
A division bench of Justice R K Deshpande and Vinay Joshi dismissed the petition. On September 20, 2017, the HC, while hearing the PIL filed by Janardhan Moon, had issued a notice to RSS general secretary Bhaiyyaji Joshi and the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) after it questioned the sanctioning of Rs 1.37 crore for works to be undertaken at Dr Hedgewar Smriti Mandir "from taxpayers' money".
The NMC commissioner and the standing committee of the civic body, also respondents in the matter, had sanctioned Rs 1.37 crore for the construction of a compound wall and internal roads at the Smriti Mandir.
Moon, president of the Nagari Hakka Suraksha Manch, claimed in his petition that the RSS is a private organisation and sanctioning of taxpayers' money by the NMC standing committee on construction work at the Smriti Mandir amounts to a gross misuse.
It claimed that the NMC is facing difficulties in implementation of various public-oriented schemes and that it (spending money on works at Smriti Mandir) should be cancelled.
The petitioner's lawyer, Ashwin Ingole, claimed that the RSS, through its counsel, filed an application seeking its removal as a respondent in the PIL and cancellation of the PIL claiming that the sangh does not have a relationship with Dr Hedgewar Smarak Smriti.
However, it was brought to the notice of the court that as per rule 7A/7B in the Memorandum of Association and by rules of Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti, the 'sarsanghchalak' (RSS chief) was the president of the samiti.