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HC refuses permission for function at Shivaji Park


Holding that no programmes can be allowed in silence zones, the Bombay High Court rejected the plea of Shivaji Park Gymkhana for permission to hold two functions for promoting children’s sports at the sprawling Shivaji Park grounds here.

The Gymkhana had, among other things, sought permission for use of loud speakers, since Shivaji Park has been notified as a silence zone by the High Court earlier.

“We cannot allow such programmes in silence zones such as Shivaji Park and we also prohibit the use of loud speakers there,” said the division bench headed by Justice V M Kanade.

The petitioner’s lawyer Ravi Gadagkar said it proposed to hold a sports event for children and a fund raiser for tennis, as usually only cricket is promoted in the country and not other sports.

The court, in 2010, had notified Shivaji Park, a popular venue for political rallies in the past, as a silence zone in response to a public interest litigation filed by the NGO WeCom Trust.

Virag Tulzapurkar, WeCom Trust’s lawyer, today argued that the HC had passed orders earlier banning the use of loud speakers in silence zones, so the permission for such programmes cannot be granted.

Meanwhile, while hearing another petition, the bench directed the government to set up a high-level committee to provide facilities to the lakhs of people who gather in the area to pay homage to Dr B R Ambedkar on December 6.

The petition alleged misuse and dirtying of Shivaji Park ground by those who visit nearby ‘Chaitya Bhoomi’, Ambedkar’s memorial, on his death anniversary.

The HC suggested that the committee should have principal secretary of the concerned department and a representative of the Buddhist Society as its members, and sought the state government’s reply on this in four weeks.

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