In a set back for Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea by his faction members against the decision of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) which had refused them permission to organise Diwali Pahat at a Thane location.
Diwali Pahat is a traditional musical event held on the first day of Diwali.
The order by a division bench of Justices RD Dhanuka and Kamal Khata thereby paves for two members of the Balasahebachi Shiv Sena led by Eknath Shinde to hold Diwali Pahat at the particular location, to which Thackeray faction had staked claim.
The court noted that after going through all the documents they did not find any malafide on the part of TMC while granting permission to the Eknath faction.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by three trustees of Anand Charitable Trust, including former corporator Mandar Pramod Vichare, challenging an October 13 order of TMC granting permission to the Shinde faction for erection of a pandal and stage in Thane, after preliminary permission was granted to the Uddhav faction on October 10.
Vichare claimed that they have received permission to organise the Diwali Pahat at the location in question since 2016-17 and, therefore, they had every right to do it at the same place because a large number of Thane residents attended it.
It alleged that the office bearers of TMC, the Police department and State government were acting at the behest of the present ruling party. “The entire exercise done by the present respondents is completely motivated to harass the petitioners and out of political rivalry,” it added.
“All citizens of India have a right of equality but this very essence of democracy enshrined as a constitutional right has been given a backseat, at the helm of power wielding person,” it added.
However, Shinde-led faction claimed that they have been conducting the musical event for the last ten years and the permission they had received was in their individual capacity.
The municipal corporation contended that under the provisions of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act, the application for conducting the event had to be submitted 30 days prior to the event. It is considered after requisite no objection certificates are brought from fire department, traffic department and police department.
TMC produced documents showing that Shinde-led faction applied on September 19 and that application included all NOCs; whereas, Thackeray faction members had applied on October 3 and that included only one NOC.