RSS vs RSS: Bombay High Court refuses to allow registration of secular RSS

Mumbai: The popular right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) led by Mohan Bhagwat has proved to be an obstacle for the registration of a ‘secular’ Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This comes after the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court turned down a petition filed by the secular RSS challenging orders of a Registrar.

A division bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Vinay Joshi dismissed a petition filed by Janardan Moon (66) challenging the orders of an Assistant Registrar.  The Registrar had rejected Moon’s application seeking registration of his outfit RSS under the Societies Registration Act. The Registrar, in his orders, noted, the provisions of the Act prohibit registering any society under the name of “Rashtriya.”

“The use of name Rashtriya in the name of the society directly or by implication suggests the patronage of the government of India or the state government and thus is barred under the Act. Therefore, we do not find the Registrar has erred in any manner by rejecting the contention of the petitioner Moon,” the bench said. The judges accordingly dismissed the petition filed by Moon seeking to register his secular RSS.

Notably, Moon had petitioned the Nagpur bench of the HC earlier in November 2018 seeking a stay on the Hunkar Sabha called on by right-wing RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat. However, the HC had then dismissed his plea and allowed Bhagwat to hold the rally.

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