HC won't hear pleas to hold functions at Shivaji Park any more



Mumbai: Stating that it would not entertain any more applications seeking permission to hold functions or rallies at Shivaji Park in central Mumbai, the Bombay High Court today directed Maharashtra government to issue a fresh notification listing the functions that can be held at the park for 30 days in a year.

Under the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, the state government has the power to allow non-sports activities on a play ground only for a period of 30 days in a year.

Presently, the state government allows only four functions at the park in a year, namely, Republic Day, Independence Day, Maharashtra Day and Ambedkar Jayanti.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A V Mohta directed the government to invite applications from various organisations who wish to hold functions at Shivaji Park and issue a fresh notification by November 2013, specifying the dates and functions that will be included in the 30-day period.

"The fresh notification will be valid from the year 2014. Henceforth, we (the court) will not entertain applications from organisers seeking permission to hold functions," the bench said.

The bench was hearing an application filed by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKON) seeking permission to hold its Rath Yatra from January 8 to 13.

ISKON had approached the court after the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation refused to grant it permission on the ground that Shivaji Park was a 'silence zone'.

The court allowed ISKON to hold the yatra this year but said it would have to approach the state government for next year.

"It is up to the state government now on as to which functions to include in the 30-day period," the court said.

PTI