Mumbai: In a major setback to Gandhian Anna Hazare, the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to entertain a plea moved by his aides seeking a waiver in the excessive rent imposed by the authorities for using the Maharashtra government authorities (MMRDA) ground in Mumbai for his proposed fast on Lokopal.
"It is not judicable. If we pass an order allowing your petition then even we will be interfering with the functioning of Parliament," a division bench of Justices PB Majmudar and Mridula Bhatkar observed.
The court made it clear that it can`t allow "parallel canvassing" when Parliament is debating the Lokpal Bill.
“What may be a satyagraha for the group could be a nuisance for others,” the court said.
The court also said it cannot come to the conclusion if the agitation was in public interest or politically motivated.
"We can`t allow parallel canvassing when Parliament is seized with debate on the bill. You can propagate the Lokpal Bill sitting at home. Till now the bill has not been passed. No one knows what form and what features it will have. Is public debate permissible at this stage?" the court asked.
Disapproving of the agitation, Justice Majmudar asked, "How is country`s interest involved? We are a democratic set up. We have elected a government. Wouldn`t your agitation interfere in the functioning of Parliament? The bill will be debated in Parliament where our elected representatives will plead our case".
The court further said that as Judges they had taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and law. "Under which law are you (petitioner) asking for exemption? It might be Satyagraha for you but for some other factions it might be a nuisance," it said.
After days of deliberations, Team Anna had finally managed to book MMRDA ground in Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC) as the venue for the Gandhina’s proposed three-day fast which starts from December 27. The ground was booked under the social organisation category.