Azad Maidan may no longer be accessible for demonstrations or protests.
The Bombay high court on Thursday suggested that either the chief minister or the home minister hear all the parties and take a final decision regarding the matter.
A division bench of justice DK Deshmukh and justice ND Deshpande was hearing a petition filed by Nariman Point Churchgate Citizens Association on which the court passed an interim order on December 9, 1997. Since then the present arrangement to culminate all morchas and protests at Azad Maidan has been put in place.
CR Naidu, counsel for the petitioner, pointed out that after the order was passed many parties aggrieved by the interim order had filed intervention applications seeking modifications in it.
The bench, however, expressed inability to deliver a verdict. “We cannot adjudicate such a matter, which involves making some arrangement for demonstrations after considering various sides,” the judges said.
The judges suggested the chief minister or the home minister should take up the matter “so that everybody’s concern can be taken into consideration”.
Government pleader DA Nalawade sought time to inform the court who would take up the matter. The court has granted him time till next Thursday.
The association had moved the high court contending that the morchas, agitations, and demonstrations had become a menace for residents of areas around CST, Churchgate and Mantralaya.
Acting on their plea, the high court had on December 9, 1997, restrained the authorities from allowing any morchas or demonstrations to be carried out in south Mumbai and instead all protestors were directed to assemble directly in Azad Maidan.