Court rejects TMC's application

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Thane, Oct 11: A court here today rejected an application of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC), seeking a stay on the order of the court that, while granting permission for setting up of pandals during festivals, the Corporation should ensure that the pandals do not give rise to public nuisance.

The court also rejected the request by the TMC for three weeks time to appeal to the Bombay High Court against the order of the district court.

In his order, district judge Arun C Bacchao today observed ''There cannot be any stay on the implementation of the provisions of law.'' The entire issue relates to the various pandals put up in the city during the various festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Gokulashtami, Shiv Jayanti and Navaratri.

Three citizens from the city M/s Kelkar, Panshikar and Deshpande filed a civil suit way back in 1998 under the section 91 of the Civil Procedure Code (CrPC) and pointed out the issues relating to the public nuisance on account of the wrongful acts of putting up pandals on the roads and encroachments on the footpaths.

In their suit, they sought relief and relief for the entire city's roads and footpaths to be free from nuisance round the clock.

They pointed out that there were traffic jams on account of the pandals put up during various festivals and this created harships to the ailing patients, pregnant women and also gave rise to various kinds of pollution.

In December 21, 2005, the court had given a verdict in favour of the trio and asked the defendents that they should ensure, while granting permission, that the function itself did not give rise to public nuisance and create hinderence.

Besides, the Commissioner of the Thane Municipal Corporation, the Police Commissioner, and the Collector and the MSEB were the respondents in the suit.

They also pointed out that there was no disaster management plan in place in case of any eventuality like fire or otherwise. In case of any fire or explosion at the station, the injured had only one route to reach the Civil Hospital and that was from the Masunda lake, which itself was blocked due to erection of pandals during the festivals.

The road leading to the Civil Hospital was closed between 1730 hrs and 0330 hrs on account of the festivals, they told the court.

On this, the court ruled in favour of the trio and issued a decree to the TMC, challenging the same and the Corporation's appeal was delayed by 113 days.

The court tooke note of the delay and rejected the appeal on the ground that the appeal was time barred.

The Corporation filed yet another application, seeking condonation of the delay in filing the appeal, which was also rejected by the court and upheld the order of the lower court that the Corporation should, while granting permission, ensure that no nuisance or encroachment is created to public by the seekers of the permission.

The Corporation, in its appeal, sought a stay on the order of the court, while granting permission that no nuisance is created.

On this, the court today commented that there cannot be any stay on the implementation of the provisions of law.

It also rejected the request by the TMC for three weeks' time to appeal to the High Court against the order of the district court.

Adv Prashant Panchakshari appeared for the plantiffs and Adv S D Oak for the Corporation, while the other parties did not proceed in appeal.


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