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SC to hear tomorrow plea for event at Girgaim beach

SC to hear tomorrow plea for event at Girgaim beach

The Supreme Court today agreed to hear tomorrow an appeal of Maharashtra government against the Bombay High Court order denying permission to hold an event at Girgaum Chowpaty in Mumbai to kickstart the ‘Make in India Week’ programme, which will be attended by the Prime Minister.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said it will hear the petition when Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar, appearing for the state, cited urgency for an early decision.

“The idea behind holding such an event is to attract investments in Maharashtra and certain events have been allowed to be held at Girgaum beach in the past also,” the Solicitor General said.

“Besides the Prime Minister, five to six heads of nations are also likely to take part in the event to be held from February 13-18,” he said, adding that it is part of the ‘Make in India’ campaign of the Central government.

The Bombay High Court had last week refused to allow the state to hold the event at Girgaum Chowpatty in south Mumbai.

The Maharashtra government had filed an application before the high court after a committee, appointed by HC in 2001 to monitor activities on the beach, asked the government to seek the court’s permission.

The HC-appointed committee had in 2005 submitted the guidelines on what activities and functions can be permitted to be held at the Girgaum Chowpatty beach.

The high court, while refusing to grant permission to the state government, had observed that permitting the government to hold such functions on the beach will be “faulty” to the guidelines of the committee.

In its application, the state had said it proposed to host a ‘Maharashtra Night’ on February 14 at Girgaum Chowpatty, to showcase its art and culture and industrial development, adding that the event will end with a laser show and fireworks display.

“This ‘Make in India’ event is much grand and important. At least three Prime Ministers of different countries are excepted to attend the event along with several other VIPs and foreign delegates. The function will be open to the public also,” the state had told the high court.

The court, however, had refused to accept the state’s contention, saying, “Make in India programme can’t be equated with the solemn function of celebrating the existence of Maharashtra for 50 years. The presence of VIPs and foreign delegates does not mean the guidelines accepted by the high court earlier have to be modified.
The Bombay High Court had in its order also noted that

the state government never objected to the committee’s guidelines when it was recommended and even when it was accepted by the court in 2005.

The state, through its counsel had informed the court that while the function will be held on February 14 for four hours in the evening, the government will start construction of stage, toilets and other temporary structures from today.

Around two lakh sq ft area on the beach will be used for the function with 500 to 600 chairs for VIPs and other guests after which the place will be open to public, it had said.

When the court questioned as to why the function has to be held on the beach, the state had said, “It would be picturesque to hold such a function to showcase Mumbai with the Marine drive and sea in the backdrop.

( Source – PTI )

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