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Kala Ghoda fest: HC allows cultural events at Cross Maidan

The Bombay High Court allowed cultural events to be held at the Cross Maidan in South Mumbai as part of the ongoing Kala Ghoda festival but denied permission for food stalls and other commercial activities.

A division bench of justices A S Oka and P N Deshmukh also rapped the Maharashtra government for allowing such events in the past and this year as well at a public property free of cost and with no conditions imposed.

While the festival started on February 3, the high court had last week refused to grant permission until it heard the matter.

The bench was hearing an application filed by the Kala Ghoda Association, the organisers of the festival, seeking permission to hold the cultural events.

As per the earlier directives of the high court, for any event to be held at the Cross Maidan, the organisers have to seek permission from it.

The city collector on January 30 passed an order permitting the events to be held.

However, the high court had last week said the order was passed without proper application of mind following which the collector passed a reasoned order on February 5 imposing conditions and licence fee on the organisers.

The high court said while it was allowing the events to be held this year, it shall not be taken as a precedent in future.

“The state government’s decision of allowing such events is completely flawed and faulty. The collector’s order of February 5 shall be followed this year. No food stalls or any other commercial activities shall be carried out,” the court ordered.

The festival will be held till February 11.

The cultural events of the festival were shifted to the Cross Maidan in the past few years after the Kala Ghoda area in South Mumbai was declared a ‘silence zone’.

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