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SC refuses to entertain BJP plea challenging ban on loudspeakers in West Bengal

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The Monday refused to entertain a plea of the BJP seeking to overturn the 2013 ban enforced by the government on the use of loudspeakers in the state between February and March due to the 10th and 12th board examinations.

A bench of and Justice expressed unwillingness to allow the plea, leading Mukul Rohatgi to withdraw it.

"for the petitioner seeks leave of this court to withdraw the writ petition. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn," the court said.

At the outset, the bench questioned the move of the party to assail the order saying "You are challenging an order of 2013?"

"Yes, but it is applied every year," the said, adding that the apex court had recently allowed the party to move the afresh to seek permission to hold 'rath yatra' and without the use of the loudspeakers, they (rath yatra) would be of no value.

"We are not saying that you are coming late," the bench said, adding that children are also writing their board examinations.

Rohatgi said the freedom of speech and expression of the party was also an important issue and use of loudspeakers were necessary for holding rallies and 'rath yatras'.

As the court was inclined to dismiss the plea, the offered to withdraw it, which was allowed.

The court also did not allow the plea of Rohatgi that the party be allowed to approach the on the issue, saying ""If you want to withdraw, withdraw it. But we are not giving any liberty to approach the High Court."

Earlier, BJP had come to the apex court alleging that the state, which has allowed its rallies, has denied permission to hold 'rathy atras' on the ground that there were fears of communal tension in the state.

The apex court had said that the party will have to seek fresh approval for holding 'rath yatras' from the state authorities.

The top court had also asked the authorities to take a decision on the plea of BJP keeping in mind the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression of the party.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 20:10 IST