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Uddhav Thackeray urges Shiv Sainiks after HC nod for Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park

By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 23, Sep 2022, 21:00 pm IST | UPDATED: 23, Sep 2022, 21:01 pm IST

Uddhav Thackeray urges Shiv Sainiks after HC nod for Dussehra Rally at Shivaji Park

New Delhi: Former Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray on Friday appealed to his supporters to maintain discipline during the party’s annual Dussehra Rally at the iconic Shivaji Park in Mumbai minute after a favourable verdict from the Bombay High Court in this regard. The Shiv Sena chief asked his cadres to ensure that the decades-old tradition is not tarnished. Welcoming the Bombay High Court order, Uddhav Thackeray said, “Our faith in judiciary vindicated.” The appeal from the Shiv Sena president came shortly after the Bombay High Court granted permission to hold its annual Dussehra rally at the iconic Shivaji Park ground in central Mumbai on October 5.

The venue, where the Sena had been holding its Dussehra rally year after year, got embroiled in a legal battle after the rival faction led by Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde too applied for holding its rally there on the same day.

A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Kamal Khata said the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation's (BMC) decision not to grant permission to either faction was a "clear abuse of the process of law."

The Thackeray faction had challenged the BMC order before the court. "In our view, the BMC decision was not bonafide (in good faith). The petitioner has been granted permission to hold the Dussehra rally at the Shivaji Park in the past," it noted. “The BMC order refusing permission merely on the ground that there was a second application filed to hold the rally at the same place is a clear abuse of the process of law," the order said.

The civic body "misused its power on a flimsy ground," the court remarked. The bench allowed the Thackeray faction to use the ground from October 2 to 6 while maintaining law and order. It also directed the police to video record the entire rally.

The BMC had on September 21 said it was refusing permission for the rally because if permission was granted to any one group, it would lead to law and order problems.

The corporation had also cited a report submitted by the Shivaji Park police station expressing this apprehension. MLA Sada Sarvankar, who had sought permission from the BMC for the rally on behalf of the Shinde group, had also moved the HC.

His plea opposed the Thackeray group's petition saying the court should not decide the matter as the dispute as to who represents the real Sena was pending before the Supreme Court. The court rejected this application noting that Sarvankar had no "locus" (right) to intervene.

"In our view, the issue of who is the real Shiv Sena is pending before the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India and this petition regarding the Dussehra rally has nothing to do with the same and hence we are afraid we cannot go into these contentions," the bench said.

The bench also noted that the applications for permission were pending since August 22. "Only after this petition was filed on September 21, the corporation sought a report from the police and then on the same day passed its order refusing permission. The corporation is unable to explain why the application couldn't be decided before," it said.

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