The Supreme Court today sought responses from the Centre and others including Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments on a PIL seeking a direction to ensure free entry for common public in parks maintained by them.
"Issue notice. Replies be filed within ten weeks," a bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said.
The court was hearing the PIL filed by Delhi-based NGO 'Voice of India' through its Chairman Dhanesh Ieshdhan.
It alleged that the entry of common persons in public gardens like Ambedkar Park at Noida in UP and the park in front of the Red Fort here is banned and it is against the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens in the Constitution.
The bench also issued notices to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and various central ministries including Urban Development and Home Affairs on the PIL.
he plea has sought a direction to Delhi and UP governments "to remove the ban for the genial entry in these public parks (Ambedkar Park and the park in front of the Red Fort) to the members of the public in a free of cost manner upon reasonable terms."
"Pass a mandamus or order commanding the respondents Nos. 1 and 6 to ensure the proper safety of the visitors as well as to secure the sanctity of these public places in the forms of all parks or gardens of UP and Delhi under the surveillance of DGP of UP and the Commissioner of Police of Delhi in the manner that all these public parks, where large number of people from all walks of life visit everyday, may not become a place of debauchery or a rendezvous for the anti-social elements," it said.
It has also sought a direction to authorities to ensure free of cost drinking water and hygienic public convenience facilities to the visitors of such parks.
The plea terms the situation as "humiliating" for common visitors who have have been banned from entering such places by concerned states governments which wear the apron of democratic values and socialism but in actual practice kick the spirit of democracy.