The Bombay High Court on Tuesday allowed the Kalyan unit of Shiv Sena to display posters depicting Chhatrapati Shivaji killing Moghal attacker Afzal Khan during Shivjayanti celebrations on Wednesday.
The order has, however, come with a rider — the party can display the poster only at Rambaug Chowk in Kalyan.
A division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Mridula Bhatkar restrained the Sena from displaying the poster at any other place and in closed pandals after considering the fact that it had caused communal riots at Miraj in Sangli district last year.
The party had sought permission from Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone III) Thane to display the poster at the procession on Wednesday.
The Sena unit had cited the completion of 350 years of the historical incident as a reason behind seeking permission for displaying the poster. The DCP had declined permission apprehending communal tension.
Vijay Salvi, the Kalyan unit chief of Shiv Sena, had challenged the DCP’s order before the HC saying it violated their fundamental right to freedom of expression.
His lawyer, Rajesh Datar, argued that the police denied permission for factual depiction of history only because parts of history were not acceptable to a certain portion of the society.
The judges said no permission could be granted to any body at the cost of law and order and harmony. “You express your feelings in a specified area,” said Justice Desai adding, “Nobody can be allowed to take out a procession passing throughout a town.”