The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the shifting of a Ganesh Utsav pandal put up on the narrow approach road to Babulnath Mandir near Girgaum Chowpatty to an alternate open space, which serves as the temple’s parking area.
A division bench of Justice K K Tated and Justice Milind N Jadhav was hearing a plea filed by Shree Babulnath Mandir Charities, raising concerns over permissions given by Gamdevi police station and BMC to its tenant Shri Babulnath Nav Tarun Sarvajanik Ganesh Utsav Mandal to set up a pandal without its consent.
The mandir Trust, in its plea, said that as temples were closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it had decided not to allow a Ganesh Utsav pandal to come up on its property this year. However, the mandal was granted permission for the same by the police and the BMC. As the Trust opposed the permissions, Senior Inspector Rajendra Mohite of Gamdevi police, on August 17, requested for an amicable solution.
In view of this, the Trust agreed to allow the pandal to come up at an alternate site – in a parking area having independent access to the tenants. However, on August 18, it revoked its conditional no objection certificate claiming that the mandal continued to set up the pandal on the approach road.
The state government told the court that it would have no serious objection if the mandal accepted the alternate site and abided by guidelines. The mandal’s counsel, Rajiv Narula, said it accepted the Trust’s proposal and will shift from the existing site.
After hearing the submissions, the HC directed the mandal to shift the existing pandal to the alternate site. It also directed the mandal to obtain all permissions required for purpose of celebrating the festival.
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