Mumbai, Oct 8: After a tough fight, the Shiv Sena Tuesday won the Bombay High Court’s approval to hold its annual Dussehra rally – its first after party supremo Bal Thackeray’s death last November – at the Shivaji Park in Dadar as usual.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M.S. Sanklecha granted the permission after observing that it was not a “political rally, but a socio-cultural function”.
The court also directed the Shiv Sena controlled BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to allow the party to hold its rally as planned Oct 13.
The high court had last year directed Shiv Sena to explore alternative venues for future Dussehra rallies as Shivaji Park falls under a silence zone.
Accordingly, any function can be organised there only after court permission.
The Shiv Sena has been approaching the Bombay High Court regularly since 2010 after Shivaji Park became a silent zone following a PIL filed by the Wecom Trust.
The Shiv Sena moved the high court this year pleading that the alternative MMRDA Ground in Bandra was east was not easily accessible to the people and it had demanded a huge fee of Rs.7 million for a five-hour function.
The Wecom Trust had opposed the petition, but the BMC and state government said that since the rally had been a tradition of over four decades, they had no objection if it was permitted at Shivaji Park.
Granting the permission, the court also ordered a committee of senior officials and Wecom Trust members to monitor the rally, record any violations of the anti-noise pollution laws and submit its report by Oct 28.