Ganpati over, but battle for 'Mumbaicha Raja' still on
A month after the Bombay High Court rejected Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav mandal’s plea for using the title ‘Mumbaicha Raja’ for the idol it installs in Ganesh Galli, Kishore Sharma is planning to move court against the mandal for using the title.
The mandal authorities had moved the high court last year, hoping to prevent Sharma from holding an online contest on his website ‘MumbaiChaRaja.com’ and later awarding the title to the winning mandal. But the court rejected the mandals’ plea before Ganeshotsav commenced.
Speaking about his plan of moving court against the mandal, Sharma said, “We were dragged to court for using something that was already ours. We had bestowed the Ganesh Galli mandal with the title in 2010. The court gave its judgment in our favour and now we are planning to file a case against the mandal for using our title. This title is given every year to the mandal that wins the contest.”
Sharma launched the website and the contest in 2008.
When asked what action would they be initiating in their defence, Swapnil Parab, secretary of Lalbaug Sarvajanik Utsav mandal, said, “We are not aware of any such thing. Once we receive a notice from the court, we will answer it through our legal department. We have nothing to do with any other mandal, nor do we want to be a part of any controversy and spoil relations with others. We won’t be participating in this contest again.”
This year’s winner
This year Tejukaya Ganeshotsav mandal from Lalbaug won the contest and would be using the ‘Mumbaicha Raja’ title until next year’s Ganeshotsav. The mandal’s 18-foot-tall Ganesha idol that was balanced on a drum received maximum votes.
For the past four years, MumbaiChaRaja.com has been organising the contest and winners were given permission to use the title ‘Mumbaicha Raja’ until next year’s Ganeshotsav.
At the time when the legal battle was on in high court, Sharma’s lawyer informed the court that the title was bestowed upon the Ganesh Galli mandal after they won the contest in 2010. He also argued that the mandal cannot retain the title, nor can it refrain the website owner from holding the contest and bestow the title on the next year’s winners. The high court passed the order on September 4.