While the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has said it has no objection to the Shiv Sena holding its Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, the political party will have to wait till Monday for the final verdict on the issue.
The Sena had approached the Bombay High Court, on Wednesday, seeking permission to hold its traditional Dussehra rally this year.
Former Shiv Sena MLC, Anil Parab, and ex-mayor, Milind Vaidya, had filed a petition seeking permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park on October 17 for a few hours in the evening.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice RP Sondur-Baldota has asked the Sena to give a notice of the petition to Wecom Trust, the original petitioners on whose PIL the high court had asked the government to initiate steps to declare Shivaji Park a silence zone.
Counsel, VA Thorat, and advocate, Pradeep Thorat, while arguing for Shiv Sena, said they wanted permission only for a few hours that day.
“We have been holding the rally for the past 40 years. We also need permission to use loudspeakers to address the large gathering between 5 pm and 10 pm,” Thorat argued, saying they would wind up the rally by 10.30 pm, the deadline for silence zones.
KK Singhvi, BMC counsel, said they had no objection, but the court would have to modify its order as it had stopped the holding of political meetings and gathering at Shivaiji Park.
Expressing doubt over the use of loudspeakers during the rally, chief justice Shah said, “Then we will have to allow Bengal Club to use loudspeakers during their durga puja aarti as well. There, too, they have a gathering of five lakh people.”
The high court, on September 29, allowed Bengal Club to hold the Durga Puja from October 11 to October 17 and Kali Puja from November 5 to November 7.
However, the court prohibited them from using loudspeakers except for making public announcements.
The Sena had moved the high court after police refused to grant them ‘No Objection’ for the rally, citing the high court order of May, 2010.
On May 5, the HC had directed the civic corporation and the Maharashtra government to initiate steps to declare Shivaji Park a silence zone.
The court had allowed three days a year to be free of the silence zone purview — Maharashtra Day, Republic Day and Ambedkar Jayanti on December 6.
As a result, no functions, events or rallies can take place inside Shivaji Park without HC permission. The HC order had come on a PIL filed by Wecom trust and two citizens, Ashok Ravat and Sharad Dixit, who said the government and corporation had not declared Shivaji Park and its vicinity as silence zones as per the Noise Pollution (Regulation And Control) Act, 2000.
According to the rules, any area within 100 metres of educational institutes/ religious structures/ hospitals and courts is a silence zones.
The rules further state that no loudspeaker permission can be given in silence zones. Besides, noise levels should not exceed 50 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night.
Earlier, the HC had granted permission to Venus Cultural Association to hold a musical programme to commemorate the centenary of freedom fighter Veer Savarkar’s attempt to escape from the Andaman Jail, at Shivaji Park, on May 30.