Sitaram Dalvi, former Shiv Sena leader who was asked to cough up Rs 7.8 lakh for vandalizing Hotel Intercontinental last year, said that the party (Shiv Sena) and senior Sena leader Sanjay Raut should be made accountable for the fine.
He said that a political party that starts an agitation should bear the responsibility for it.
A division bench of Justice Ranjan Desai and Justice Mridula Bhatkar said the court was not concerned about which party was behind the agitation. The court will pass an order in Dalvi’s petition on Thursday.
“We are not concerned whether it is the Shiv Sena or the Congress or the Communist Party or any other party, because it the common man who suffers. We do not have any party affiliation,” remarked Justice Desai, adding: “You can’t just go and destroy property for your agitation. Message must be sent across that people can’t go on burning buses.”
Dalvi along with Sanjay Raut had led a morcha of Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS) men to the hotel at Sahar protesting against the sacking of some employees. He said that he had no money to pay.
S.S. Kulkarni, Dalvi’s counsel, argued that it was a vicarious liability. “You can’t force a person into it,” argued Kulkarni.
Kulkarni also argued that the court should call Bal Thackeray and other Shiv Sena senior leaders such as Sanjay Raut.
Responding to the argument, Justice Desai said: “Please don’t tell us what to do. We will do it, if it has to be done.”
Kulkarni added that a case of unlawful assembly could not be imposed on one person and recovery of damages made from him, said Kulkarni. “45 persons have been booked, but I have been singled out to pay the fine. Why is that so?” asked Kulkarni adding that the morcha was led by Sanjay Raut.
Justice Desai asked Kulkarni: “So you want this money to be recovered from Sanjay Raut?’’ The judges pointed out that Dalvi had written on the party’s letterhead informing that he will be leading the morcha.
Additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal opposed the petition stating that nothing restricted the collector from recovering the amount. The court will pass an order on Thursday.