Law can't be violated in the name of religious festivals: Bombay HC

Mumbai, Oct 6: Asserting that law applies to every religion and it cannot be violated in the name of religious festivals, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday appreciated the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) for proper management of the famous Mount Mary Fair in suburban Bandra.

Mount Mary fair, held to celebrate the birthday of Mother Mary, draws huge crowds every year from all parts of the city and nearby places and is considered a historic event by members of all communities.

Bombay High Court

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and V L Achiliya was hearing a petition by Lillian Pais, a resident of Bandra, stating that every year during the fair vehicular and pedestrian traffic is disrupted as several stalls are put up without permission.

The civic body today told the court that this year 183 illegal stalls were removed following complaints and several steps were taken to ensure that there was no obstruction to traffic.

"Law of the land applies to every religion. In the name of religious festivals, no one can violate the law and put up illegal pandals and stalls on public roads. Only in this festival (Mount Mary Fair) we are noticing the civic body has been able to reduce the number of stalls," Justice Oka said.

The civic body informed the court that henceforth two months prior to the fair every year a policy will be formed by it and will be published on its website and the local ward office.

Directing the Corporation to give wide publicity to the policy in local newspapers, the court disposed of the petition saying the petitioners can approach the civic body if it has any problems or suggestions about the policy.

The court also directed the concerned Assistant Municipal Commissioner to ensure that no stall is illegally put up and garbage from the area is removed immediately after the fair ends.


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