New Delhi :
The Supreme Court on Monday declined urgent hearing to Bharatiya Janata Party’s plea challenging a Calcutta High Court order rejecting permission to take out Rath Yatras in West Bengal. The BJP had moved to the vacation bench of the top court after Calcutta High Court’s division bench denied permission for the political procession in West Bengal citing intelligence inputs expressing fear of a breach of communal harmony. The Supreme Court is closed for winter vacations. The registry of the top court informed the lawyer associated with the saffron party’s plea that the matter would be taken up for hearing in the normal course. The BJP had sought an urgent hearing on the petition.
With Lok Sabha elections less than six months away, the BJP is planning to make inroads in West Bengal by carrying out a Rath Yatra across the state. However, the Mamata Banerjee-led West Bengal government had refused to grant permission for the political procession citing intelligence inputs about possible communal tension.
The BJP had moved to the Calcutta High Court against the West Bengal government’s decision. Giving initial respite to the saffron party, a single bench of the Calcutta High Court had allowed the BJP to carry out three Rath Yatras across the state.
The High Court decision has come as a blow to the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress government, which then approached the division bench of the High Court. Headed by Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta, the division bench quashed its single bench order and asked it to consider intelligence inputs shared by the state government.
Both the BJP and the TMC have been at loggerheads after the state government refused the saffron party to grant the permission to carry out the procession. The denial also irked BJP president Amit Shah, who had openly challenged that "nobody can stop rath yatras in the state".
Shah had claimed that the permission was not granted because CM Banerjee was "terrified" that the BJP would expand its base in the state. The TMC, however, maintained its stand and said the permission was denied after intelligence agencies expressed fear of communal tension.