The BMC on Tuesday refused permission to the Shiv Sena for holding its 45th Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park. Rallies and political functions are not allowed in Shivaji Park as itfalls in the ‘silence zone’.
Sharadchandra Ugade, assistant commissioner, G North ward, rejected the party’s application to hold the Dussehra Rally at the park on October 13. This has left it with no option but to approach the court this year too.
On October 15, last year, a division bench of the Bombay high court comprising chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Nitin Jamdar had allowed the Shiv Sena to hold its Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park but with the rider that it would have to hold its rally at the MMRDA grounds in Bandra (East) from 2013 on.
This year marks the the first Dussehra rally since the former Sena chief Bal Thackeray passed away in November 2012. He was indisposed last year but he addressed therally via video conferencing.
The party has been trying to retain its traditional venue, the Shivaji Park, for the last few years. For the Sena, the Dussehra Rally is one of its most prestigious events as Bal Thackeray launched the Shiv Sena party with a Dussehra Rally in 1966 from that venue.
Since 2010, the party has been seeking last-minute permissions from the court to hold the rallythere each year. Last year the high courtcategorically said that it was not in favour of granting any relief to the applicant (Shiv Sena). But with only a week left for Dusshera, the Sena would not have been able to get any other ground in short notice, so the relief was given. The party was askedto book the MMRDA grounds well in advance for 2013. In fact, the Sena was told toapply for the grounds six weeks after the order was received.
After last year’s rally, an FIR was lodged against the party for allegedly flouting noise pollution norms. An affidavit was filed by NGO Wecom Trust. It was on this NGO’s PIL that Shivaji Park was declared a silence zone. The NGO has claimed that Shiv Sena has committed various breaches of the high court order and noise pollution norms since then.
Sunil Prabhu, mayor of Mumbai, said that if the civic body would not give permission, the Sena will approach the court.
Remindedabout the last year’s court order he remained tight-lipped.