The Calcutta High Court on Monday disallowed holding of the Kolkata Book Fair, one of the largest in the world, at Park Circus Maidan for violation of environmental norms and fundamental rights.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice SS Nijjar and Justice PC Ghosh directed the Booksellers Guild, organisers of the fair which was scheduled to begin from tomorrow, to restore the park to its original state and hand over its possession to Kolkata Municipal Corporation at the earliest.
The bench, acting on a PIL filed by the local residents seeking revocation of permission for holding the fair at Park Circus, observed that holding of the huge fair, which attracts lakhs of visitors daily, would be violative of Article 14 (equality before law) and Article 21 (right to life in a congenial environment) of the Constitution.
The bench also observed that the holding of the fair at the congested area would also be violative of Pollution Act, Environment Protection Act and Noise Pollution Act.
After hearing all the parties in the PIL over the last week, the Chief Justice had himself visited the Park Circus area on January 26 to get a first hand idea of the ground situation there.
Several schools, colleges and two important hospitals are located there, which is also a densely populated residential area.
The fair has been in trouble for the last couple of years over its venue. It was uprooted from the Maidan in the heart of the metropolis last year on the ground of environmental pollution and shifted to Salt Lake, and has again been denied a new address in the metropolis.