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West Bengal: Calcutta HC rejects TMC govt plea, allows BJP mega rally in Kolkata's Victoria House

The Calcutta High Court dismissed the plea by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government to block the BJP's demonstration. The court has previously highlighted multiple times of the government's similar actions and the need for a level-playing field for all political parties.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Kolkata Updated on: November 24, 2023 14:56 IST
Calcutta High Court
Image Source : ANI Calcutta High Court

The Calcutta High Court has allowed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to hold a mega rally in Kolkata's Victoria House in Esplanade on November 29, dismissing a plea filed by the Trinamool Congress (TMC) government to block the demonstration that will also include an address by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

The ruling TMC holds several rallies as well as its annual 'Shaheed Diwas' (Martyrs Day) on July 21 at the Victoria House in central Kolkata. The state government had approached the High Court after a single-judge bench judgement ruled in favour of the BJP.

However, the HC division bench of Chief Justice TS Sivagnanam and Justice Hiranmay Bhattacharya upheld the single bench order and dismissed the petition by the state government against the rally.

The High Court noted that the advisory said applications need to be made two to three weeks prior to the programme. Here, the application has been made 23 days prior. The bench also observed that processions, rallies and meetings are a "regular feature in the state of West Bengal and more particularly in Kolkata". 

The division bench also noted several instances which have come to the notice of the court where rallies, meetings and agitations have been held for which no permission has been obtained.

"This is a historical verdict given by the High Court. I had predicted that the West Bengal government would have to face the consequences as it was illegally trying to stop the BJP program. We thank the judiciary," said West Bengal BJP President Sukanta Majumdar.

West Bengal BJP MLA also hailed the verdict, saying, "This is a victory for us....Is this Afghanistan or Pakistan that only Mamata Banerjee will hold rallies...?"

Earlier, the single-judge bench of the High Court had pulled up the Kolkata Police on November 20 for denying permission for the BJP rally in Kolkata twice without any apparent reason and by way of computer-generated responses. 

This came after the BJP claimed in a petition that a previous application to organise the meeting on November 28 had also been rejected on the ground that it was not made within the stipulated time frame.

 

(with inputs from agencies)

ALSO READ | High Court asserts 'Right to Assembly': Orders police to permit Amit Shah's Kolkata meeting

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