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BJP files caveat in SC over 'rath yatra' in West Bengal

BJP files caveat in SC over rath yatra in West Bengal

Kolkata: The West Bengal BJP Sunday said it had filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to ensure that it got a hearing in case the state government moved the apex court against the Calcutta High Court verdict on the party's proposed "rath yatra".

"We have filed a caveat in the Supreme Court to ensure that we do not go unheard if the Bengal government decides to move the apex court against the order passed by a division bench of the Calcutta High Court (on the "rath yatra")," state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said.

He claimed that the West Bengal government did not want the saffron party to conduct the "rath yatra", adding, "We are apprehensive that the government may move the Supreme Court."

A caveat is a notice that states that certain actions may not be taken without informing the person who has given the notice.

The caveat in the apex court was filed by the BJP Saturday.

A division bench of the Calcutta High Court came down heavily on the West Bengal government Friday for not responding to Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) letters, seeking permission for three "rath yatra" in the state, and directed top officials to take a decision on the processions by December 14.

Justices Biswanath Somadder and A Mukherjee said the government's silence on the permission was "astonishing and astounding".

The BJP wrote to the West Bengal government Saturday, stating its readiness to join discussions over its proposed "rath yatra", as directed by the high court the previous day.

BJP national president Amit Shah was to kickstart the party's "Save Democracy Rally" comprising three "rath yatra" -- one from Coochbehar in the northern parts of the state last Friday, one from Kakdwip in South 24 Parganas district Sunday and one from the Tarapith temple in Birbhum district on December 14.

The three "rath yatra" were scheduled to cover all the 42 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.

A single-judge bench of the high court had refused permission to the BJP Thursday for conducting a "rath yatra" in Coochbehar, after the West Bengal government refused to allow the event saying it may cause communal tension.

The party then moved the division bench of the court against the verdict Friday.

The chief secretary, the home secretary and the director general of police shall hold a meeting with three representatives of the BJP by December 12 and take a decision on the matter by December 14, the division bench directed.

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