Mumbai: In a setback to Team Anna, the
Bombay High Court today rejected its petition for direction to
Maharashtra government for allotting MMRDA ground for free or
at concessional rates for Anna Hazare`s fast, saying it cannot
come to the conclusion if the agitation was in public interest
or politically motivated.
The court also said it cannot direct the government to
open the gates to the enclosed area in Azad Maidan, another
probable venue for the proposed 3-day fast from December 27,
to allow Team Anna larger space for the protest.
"We are afraid that such issues cannot be decided by
the court. This court cannot come to the conclusion as to
whether this agitation is in public interest or politically
motivated," a division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and
Mridula Bhatkar observed while rejecting the petition filed by
Jagrut Nagrik Manch, an affiliate of Hazare`s India Against
"It cannot be said that the petitioners have
undertaken a national event for the MMRDA to exempt them from
rent for the ground," Justice Majmudar said.
The court said another ground for rejecting the plea
was that the petitioner was not a registered social
organisation, a mandatory requirement for seeking concession
When Mahendra Ghelani, advocate for the petitioner,
told the court that they would file another application to
MMRDA through a registered organisation, the court said they
could do that and the state-run body shall consider it on
merit and according to their discretion.