Published On : Thu, Jul 11th, 2019

HC trashes RSS plea to get out of Hedgewar Samiti PIL

Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court

Nagpur: All is certainly not well in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) these days as it has been getting mired into one controversy after another. Even as the row over inclusion of RSS in Nagpur university syllabus has raging by the day, now its application for exclusion of its name from a PIL (No 101/2017) was trashed by Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court. The PIL was related to largesse extended to Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti in Reshimbagh by Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC). RSS had filed a civil application for keeping it outside the purview of the PIL.

Social activist Janardhan Moon had filed the concerned petition through counsel Ashwin Ingole, contending that though RSS is an unregistered organization, yet the civic body extended undue favours to it at taxpayers’ expense. The HC has already admitted the PIL for final hearing on October 3 last year, despite opposition from the RSS.

Quoting various media reports, Moon pointed out that proposal to build compound wall and internal roads at Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti in Reshimbagh was first moved by the ruling party leader Sandip Joshi and former mayor Pravin Datke.

The standing committee under then chairman Sandeep Jadhav later cleared the proposal on September 12, 2017, with a majority of votes, even as Congress corporators opposed the move. Citing precarious financial condition of the NMC, leader of opposition in the civic body Tanaji Wanve too had opposed the proposal. Manoj Sangole, Harish Gwalbansi and Ansari Sayeeda Begum of Congress and Jitendra Ghodeswar of BSP too had registered their protest.

Moon later moved the high court against the NMC decision. In its defence, the NMC informed the HC on January 31 last year that Dr Hedgewar Smarak Samiti’s premises was granted status of a “tourist place” about two decades back and it’s a “place of reverence”.

The petitioner contended that the BJP-ruled corporation always cites financial crunch when it comes to carry out important works like road, pothole repairs, street lights installation and gutter line repairs. Every year, rains badly expose the tall claims of the NMC that roads are in good condition while in reality most are riddled with potholes, the petitioner said. Even schools run by the civic body are in pathetic condition, but its officials claim fund crunch and initiate no steps to improve the situation.