The Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to stay Mumbai marathon scheduled to be held on January 17 saying it was one of the most important events of the city.
Alka Shah, a social worker from Worli, had filed a public interest litigation seeking orders to cancel Marathon primarily citing great deal of inconvenience caused to city residents due to blocking of important city roads.
“People are virtually confined to their houses,” said her lawyer Neville Deboo while urging the court to stay the scheduled event. “For the sake of just 200 people, thousands of residents are suffering,” he added suggesting the Marathon can be shifted outside the city limits.
Deboo also contended that fundamental rights of the petitioner, and thousands like her, were being denied due to the event. He pointed out a condition from the no objection certificate issued by the traffic police to Marathon organisers — not to disturb the vehicular and pedestrian traffic.
A division bench of Justice F.I. Rebello and Justice J.H. Bhatia, however, declined to stay the event saying if the petitioner has fundamental rights so have the Marathon participants.
“Rights of the petitioner will have to be weighed against the rights of those participating in the marathon,” observed Justice Rebello while declining the interim relief sought by the petitioner.
Her lawyer then raked up the issue of utilisation of the moneys collected from the event saying Standard Chartered Bank was paying roughly Rs. 34 crore to Singapore Sports Authorities for allowing it to hold the Marathon there.
“Here we are not getting anything,” said the lawyer. Instead the amount of Rs. 1.34 crore is yet to be paid by the organisers to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation in connection with previous Marathons.