The Calcutta High Court today rejected the West Bengal government’s plea for stopping an ongoing Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) motorbike rally for allegedly flouting conditions and using the BJP flag.
A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice J Bhattacharya and Justice A Banerjee noted that the BJP, the parent political body of the BJYM, would be responsible for any untoward incident at the instance of the rallyists.
Appearing for the state, Advocate General Kishore Datta prayed that the rally be stopped immediately and alleged that though permission for the rally had been sought in the name of the BJP youth wing BJYM, in all practical purposes it was a rally by the parent political party.
Datta submitted that the party’s flags were also used in the rally named ‘Sankalpa Pratirodh Yatra’, which resumed today after a two-day gap on the high court’s order.
The division bench observed that the state government has taken it that it is a BJP wing’s rally, otherwise it would not have sent a copy of its refusal letter for the rally to BJP state president Dilip Ghosh.
On another objection by the AG that the rally was started this morning after a 45-minute delay, BJYM counsel Saptangshu Mitra submitted that it was due to heavy fog and participants could not reach in time.
The court had directed that there should not be a delay of more than 15 minutes in adhering to the schedule.
The division bench had on January 11 rejected an appeal by the state government challenging a single bench order that allowed the rally to be organised according to its original schedule.
Putting certain conditions on holding of the rally, the division bench had appointed a special officer to monitor the yatra and directed that if there was any violation of law and order or deviation from route, the officer would intervene and stop the rally forthwith.