society, the Bombay High Court allowed a member of Shiv Sena (UBT) to organise the competition.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and MW Chandwani further noted that such an activity does not breach the model code of conduct (MCC) imposed by the Election Commission (EC) and by no stretch of the imagination can it aggravate differences between two political parties.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by Vijay Salvi challenging the decision of Kalyan Dombivali Municipal Corporation (KDMC) to revoke the permission granted to organise the competition saying that the model code of conduct was in place due to elections.
“A bodybuilding event is about positivity, health, strength, energy and vigour and about the spirit of competition. It is something in which anyone can participate, irrespective of the caste, creed, religion or political affiliation,” said the court adding, “In a way, it is a secular and neutral activity and also an activity which promotes overall welfare of the society. Therefore, such an activity cannot be considered to be an activity which aggravates the existing differences between two political parties.”
KDMC contended that as per the general conduct clause of the model code of conduct, the bodybuilding competition cannot be allowed as it can create or aggravate the existing differences between the two factions of the Shiv Sena, which are at loggerheads.
The court also noted that the corporation failed to give a hearing to Salvi before revoking the permission. “Such abrupt, sudden and onesided cancellation of the permission is arbitrary, to say the least. After all, one must fathom that the organiser has gone ahead with making preparations, issuing invitation cards and thereby incurring some expenses in the matter after having received the permission,” the court said.
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