The Free Press Journal - - MUMBAI -


The for­mer Chief Min­is­ter of Ma­ha­rash­tra, Ashok Chavan got re­lief from the Bom­bay High Court I Adarsh case, this month. A bench of Jus­tice Ran­jit More and Jus­tice Sad­hana Jad­hav quashed and set aside the sanc­tion or­der. The court was hear­ing a pe­ti­tion filed by Chavan chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion of Ma­ha­rash­tra Gover­nor C Vidyasagar Rao grant­ing sanc­tion to the CBI to pros­e­cute him in the case.


Along with the pe­ti­tion filed by Su­maira Ab­du­lali, of Awaaz Foun­da­tion and nu­mer­ous PILs were clubbed to­gether by the Bom­bay High Court chal­leng­ing the blar­ing sounds and mu­sic that are played dur­ing fes­ti­vals and this also in­cluded aza­ans played in mosques. There were in­ter­ven­ing PILs too. The po­lice took prompt suo moto ac­tion to avoid be­ing is­sued a con­tempt of court no­tice by the di­vi­sional bench of Jus­tice Ab­hay Oka. This led to a first of its kind of a ju­di­cial ver­sus po­lit­i­cal strug­gle. In Au­gust, the Chief Min­is­ter Deven­dra Fad­navis through Ashutosh Kumb­hakoni, the Ad­vo­cate Gen­eral had in­formed this bench, the gov­ern­ment had no faith in Jus­tice Oka. On Au­gust 24, the then Chief Jus­tice of Bom­bay High Court Man­jula Chel­lur on Thurs­day trans­ferred all mat­ters per­tain­ing to noise pol­lu­tion rules to an­other Bench af­ter the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment al­leged one of the judges hear­ing the is­sue was “bi­ased” against the ad­min­is­tra­tion. Prior to this con­tro­versy, the state gov­ern­ment had re­moved all silent zones of Mumbai city. How­ever, pub­lic out­rage forced Mumbai po­lice to take ac­tion on spe­cific days and uphld the Supreme Court guide­lines on noise pol­lu­tion. Gov­ern­ment was forced to apol­o­gise and the for­mer CJ was forced to give back the PILs to J. Oka.


Giv­ing re­lief to the cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments, the Bom­bay HC dis­missed all the pe­ti­tions chal­leng­ing the Maha RERA – Ma­ha­rash­tra Real Es­tate Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity. In a land­mark or­der, the HC said the RERA law is for the ben­e­fit of a com­mon per­son and em­pow­ers the or­di­nary cus­tomer. The spe­cial bench of Jus­tices Naresh Patil and Ra­jesh Ketkar in its ob­ser­va­tion cited the fa­mous words of Ma­hatma Gandhi, in the or­der, say­ing,”it is im­por­tant to wipe ev­ery tear of ev­ery per­son.”


Af­ter the stam­pede on El­phi­s­tone Road bridge, on Septem­ber 29, Sanjay Niru­pam, the pres­i­dent of Mumbai Re­gional Congress Com­mit­tee had filed a Pub­lic In­ter­est Lit­i­ga­tion (PIL) against the ac­tion of Bri­hanMum­bai Mu­nic­i­pal Cor­po­ra­tion to pre­vent hawkers from sell­ing out­side rail­way sta­tions. How­ever the di­vi­sional bench of Jus­tice Bhushan Gavai, or­dered pre­vent­ing hawkers from sell­ing within 100 me­tres from ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions like schools, col­leges, re­li­gious places and hos­pi­tals. Fur­ther­more, the HC in its or­der dis­al­lowed hawkers from sell­ing within 150 me­tres of ev­ery rail­way sta­tion, in­clud­ing Foot-OverBridges and sky­walks. This lim­i­ta­tion also ex­tends to the civic mar­kets.


A Thane-based pe­di­a­tri­cian, Dr Ma­hesh Bedekar had filed a PIL with the di­vi­sion bench of J. Oka against the il­le­gal pandals. Jus­tice Oka had warned to take ac­tion against those Mu­nic­i­pal Com­mis­sion­ers in whose ju­ris­dic­tion the breach of silent zone and other rules were breached.


In 2017, the Ma­ha­rash­tra gov­ern­ment chal­lenged the pre­vi­ous or­der of HC and termed the fes­ti­val as an ad­ven­ture sport. They also chal­lenged the or­der by Jus­tice Bhushan Gavai that had re­stricted the height of the dahi handi to nine tiers and age bar of dis­al­low­ing chil­dren be­low the age of 14.


Chal­leng­ing the lack of space for dump­ing grounds and sat­u­ra­tion of the ex­ist­ing ones, the Builders’ As­so­ci­a­tion had filed a re­view pe­ti­tion against the HC or­der de­mand­ing new space. How­ever, the BMC in­formed the HC that a new project for dis­posal of waste and garbage dump­ing can begin only from 2019. In July, the civic body sought a two-month ex­ten­sion from the HC to pre­pare a waste man­age­ment plan for the city. The HC also im­posed a ban on new con­struc­tion in the city un­til the BMC finds a way to man­age waste.

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