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Bombay High Court orders BMC to permit Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena faction to hold annual Dussehra rally

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The Bombay High Court has instructed  the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for granting permission to Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena for holding their annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar, Mumbai for this 2022. 

A bench comprising of Justice RD Dhanuka and Justice Kamal Khata have quashed an order passed by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) which has denied  permission for holding the rally. 

The Court believed that the decision taken by BMC was not bonafide and granted  permission to Shiv Sena to hold the rally at Shivaji Park between October 2 to 6, 2022. 

The Court said that the police was at liberty to record the entire event and in the event there was any untoward behaviour, the same can be a ground for refusing permission the next year. 

The Bench also said that BMC rejected the permission but more importantly not explain why they did not consider the application between the period of August 22 and September 21, 2022. 

The order clearly said that the application could not be decided for so long and the police report was called for after the writ petition was served. In our view BMC’s action is a clear process of abuse of law. 

The Court also said that we are invoking powers under Article 226 of the Constitution. In this case, BMC has misused power by refusing to grant permission in view of another application

It further added that this case calls for interference and grant of permission. Permission can be granted on various conditions. Petitioner will have to comply with conditions” the order recorded. 

During 2016,the BMC commissioner had been directed to allow holding of the Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park, and on the same basis the permission was granted till 2019. The rally was not held in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The plea mentions that as per the procedure,the party in 2022 applied to BMC on August 26,2022 for permission.

However, the permission was not granted despite lapse of more than a month. This compelled the petitioner to approach High Court for appropriate directions and also to know the ground of rejection.

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