No Iskcon rath yatra at Shivaji Park

Friday, 3 January 2014 - 11:55am IST | Agency: DNA
HC says open spaces should be used only for their intended purposes.

Refusing to grant permission for a religious function to be held at Shivaji Park, the Bombay high court on Thursday said that the city’s open spaces should be used only for the purpose they are meant for.

A religious organisation, International Society for Krishna Consciousness or Iskcon, had sought permission from the city’s municipality to hold its function – Jagannath Rath Yatra – at Shivaji Park on January 4. The municipality, however, refused to grant permission, citing a 2010 order of the high court by which the park was declared a ‘silence zone’. Shivaji Park is a buzzing sporting arena which sees children and youth romping about during the daytime. It is also a haven for senior citizens besides other members of the general public.

With the municipality declining to grant permission for the function, a member of Iskcon approached the court. However, Justice Gautam Patel rejected the plea. While refusing permission, the judge said that the park was used for sportsperson and children for sports and recreation. “Allowing the function would mean rendering it [the park] inaccessible not only for the day in question but also for some days before and after,” said justice Patel.

The judge emphasised that the park should not be used for purposes other than sports and recreation. “Exceptions, if any, should be few,” said justice Patel.

The court added that other functions like like Republic Day and Maharashtra Day held at the park are “secular and state-organised functions”.

Iskcon argued that over one lakh people were likely to attend the yatra and bolstered its case, saying that the high court had granted them permission last year. The high court, however, refused to accept this argument.

No juggernaut to roll in silence zone

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness or Iskcon had sought permission from the city’s municipality to hold its function – Jagannath Rath Yatra – at Shivaji Park on January 4. The municipality, however, refused to grant permission, citing a 2010 order of the high court by which the park was declared a ‘silence zone. The HC too rejected Iskcon’s plea.


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