Supreme Court stays green tribunal order’s ban on functions in Delhi parks
- The order of NGT had come on a plea filed by several resident welfare associations who complained that civic authorities were flouting environmental norms by permitting commercial functions and events in parks and open spaces.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday stayed an order passed by the National Green Tribunal that imposed a blanket ban on use of parks and open grounds in the Capital for holding public functions, weddings, political rallies and social and political events.
A bench of justices Indira Banerjee and V Ramasubramanian passed the order while dealing with a clutch of petitions filed by the various municipal bodies in the capital that stopped taking bookings for events following the ban imposed by NGT in February this year.
Appearing for the North and South Delhi Municipal Corporations, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the court that the NGT order had to be stayed as it was in violation of a 2009 order passed by the Supreme Court in MC Mehta case which permits use of parks and open spaces in Delhi for not more than 10 days in a month.
In its judgment, the apex court expressed concern over large number of parks in the city being used for construction of marriage pandals and hosting other functions. The court observed that the permitted use of the parks being recreation under the Master Plan, it cannot be permitted for any other use. At the same time, keeping in view the need of the society, the 2009 decision held, “The use of parks by the MCD, the NDMC and the DDA for the purposes mentioned above shall not be permitted more than 10 days in a month. In other words when any of the designated parks is used for such purpose 10 days in a month, no function thereafter shall be permitted during the remaining 20/21 days.”
Taking note of this judgment, the SC bench headed by justice Indira Banerjee allowed the appeals of the civic bodies and said that the order passed by the top court in MC Mehta case will hold the field.
The order of NGT had come on a plea filed by several resident welfare associations who complained that civic authorities were flouting environmental norms by permitting commercial functions and events in parks and open spaces.
Following the NGT order, the civic bodies were left cash starved. Even the Ramlila Ground, which has witnessed several social and political events in the past, was covered under the NGT order. There are close to 130 grounds and parks across South, East and North Delhi Municipal Corporations where events are allowed to take place.