HC rejects MNS consent to hold Shivaji Park rally

Bombay High Court refused to grant permission to the Raj Thackeray-led party to hold a public meeting at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai.

Mumbai: In a blow to Maharashtra Navnirman
Sena`s apparent attempt to score brownie points over its arch
rival Shiv Sena, the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to grant
permission to the Raj Thackeray-led party to hold a public
meeting at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai.

MNS had approached the high court through its
President of Dadar division, Sandip Deshpande, seeking
permission to use loud speakers at the rally to be held on
February 13 at Shivaji Park.

The regional outfit approached the high court after
the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) refused to give
them a go ahead based on an earlier order passed by the court
declaring Shivaji Park as a silence zone. Use of loud speakers
is prohibited in a silence zone.

"If permission is granted in one case then we would
not be in a position to deny permission if any other political
party approaches the court," a division bench of Chief Justice
Mohit Shah and Justice R V More said.

The bench accepted the arguments put forth by the
Maharashtra government that no permission should be granted to
any meeting connected for the civic elections, including
Mumbai, to be held on February 16.

"These political parties and their supporters don`t
come silently. They shout slogans and use loud speakers which
are banned under the Noise Pollution rules in a silence zone,"
additional government pleader P G Lad said.

The BMC counsel while justifying the permission
granted to Shiv Sena earlier to hold its Dusshera rally at
Shivaji Park said, "Permissions were granted earlier for
cultural and religious events but cannot be granted for
meetings prior to elections".

Advocate Sandeep Aole, appearing for NGO Wecom Trust
on whose petition Shivaji Park was declared silence zone
argued that even after assuring the court that they would
abide by the noise pollution rules, political parties often
violate them by using loud speakers thus increasing the noise
level above 50 decibel.

"In the Dusshera rally held by Shiv Sena there were
blatant violations of the noise pollution rules," he claimed.

Counsel Y S Jahagirdar maintained that MNS would be
holding the rally in the day time. He also tried to convince
the court saying there would not be any violations by the
party of the provisions of the Noise Pollution (Control) Act.


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