Mumbai: HC questions BMC and police on MNS rally at Shivaji Park
“How can permission be granted under Rule 6 of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000?” was the question posed by the Bombay High Court to the counsels of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Mumbai Police, who have granted permission to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) to hold a rally at Shivaji Park on April 8.
The HC bench asked the MNS to bring in writing that no rules of the Noise Pollution Rules, 2000, will be violated when they hold the rally at Shivaji Park. Several MNS leaders like Nitin Sardesai, Arvind Gawde and corporator Sandeep Deshpande were seen in the court. File pic
A petition filed by WeCom Trust said that Shivaji Park is in a silence zone (falling under Rule 6), and questioned how one can hold a rally in the area. However, the police and the BMC have granted permission to the MNS that completed 10 years in the month of March, and party chief Raj Thackeray is likely to announce his campaign for the upcoming BMC elections. A bench of justices Abhay Oka and Prakash Naik of the Bombay HC is hearing the petition.
The counsel appearing for MNS, VA Thorat, told the bench that a government resolution (GR) said that for 45 days in a year, Shivaji Park was exempted from the silence zone and one could hold a rally there in that time.
The court then asked the organiser, MNS leader Nitin Sardesai, who was represented by advocate Girish Godbole, to give in writing an undertaking that they will not violate the Noise pollution Rules, 2000. However Godbole said his client was not ready to give an undertaking.
The petitioner’s lawyer Sandeep Awale told the court that public announcement systems cannot be used in the park under Rule 5 of the Noise Pollution Rules. The police, in their permission to MNS, has specified that the noise levels should not exceed 50 decibels.
Justices Oka and Naik later asked the MNS to at least bring in writing that no norms under the Noise Pollution Rules, 2000, will be violated. They will hear the case today.
The Shiv Sena has been getting permissions to hold a rally at Shivaji Park every Dusshera and on the same lines, MNS has been seeking permission for its rally on Gudi Padwa. Raj Thackeray’s party is desperate to make a comeback before the BMC polls and he has decided on Gudi Padwa to make the event large.