The Bombay High Court on Thursday said it will hear on Friday a plea filed by the Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, challenging BMC’s decision to deny the party permission to hold its annual Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park in Dadar on October 5.
The court was informed that on Wednesday, BMC had denied permission to both the Thackeray and the Eknath Shinde factions of the Sena to hold the rally at Shivaji Park.
Following this, Justice Ramesh D Dhanuka and Justice Kamal R Khata allowed the Thackeray faction to amend its earlier pleas, which had sought direction to the BMC to grant permission for the rally, and asked the faction to challenge the BMC’s decision not to grant nod. Meanwhile, Mahim MLA Sada Sarvankar, who belongs to the Shinde faction, moved an interim application in the HC on Thursday against the plea filed by the Thackeray camp.
Sarvankar sought to be made party in the Thackeray faction’s plea and also to stay proceedings, since the dispute between the two Sena factions – over which is the real Shiv Sena – is pending before the Supreme Court and the Election Commission of India.
Maintaining that he is an elected representative from the area where the rally is proposed to be held, Sarvankar said that if the HC passes an order, it will cause prejudice to him and the Shinde faction. He claimed that the Thackeray faction has suppressed relevant facts about the existence of a dispute on which faction is the real Sena and therefore, he should be allowed to intervene in the plea and be heard.
The court said Sarvankar’s interim application will be heard on Friday. Filed through advocate Joel Carlos, the Thackeray faction’s plea stated that Shiv Sena has conducted Dussehra Mela every year since 1966 at Shivaji Park and BMC has always permitted the same. It added that the government order of January 20, 2016, specifically provided that the ground may be used for such a rally and that the BMC commissioner should permit the same.
On Thursday, senior advocate Aspi Chinoy, appearing for the Thackeray faction, informed the HC that the petitioner wants to amend the plea as circumstances had changed after BMC denied permission to hold the rally at Shivaji Park. However, senior advocate Milind Sathe, appearing for BMC, said that the petitioner should file a new plea.
The HC, however, said that the plea had wider prayers and allowed it, stating that amendments be made forthwith.