The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to constitute a three-member committee to look into the controversy around the open-air gym at Marine Drive and decide what must be done.
The contentious gym, inaugurated last month by Shiv Sena youth wing chief Aditya Thackeray and actor-model Dino Morea, was shut down the next day, before being reopened following threats from the Shiv Sena.
On Thursday, a bench comprising chief justice Mohit Shah and justice A K Menon ordered the BMC to constitute the committee – comprising the BMC commissioner, the Mumbai police commissioner and the chairperson of the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee – to decide whether the open-air gym can be allowed to remain at Marine Drive, and for how long. The court said that the committee must also deal with similar issues concerning installations at Marine Drive in the future.
“Do not let such matters be decided by an individual officer. Also, ensure that such matters do not reach the court. Instead, form a committee that can deal with all such issues in the future. The committee must also look into whether this open-air gym can be allowed to exist in the first place,” the bench said.
A PIL was filed in the high court, challenging the three-month permission granted to DM Fitness Limited for the open-air gym despite objections from the local assistant civic commissioner.
Meanwhile, state Congress leaders have alleged that the case reveals the BMC’s preferential treatment to the Shiv Sena.