Bombay High Court: In a case filed seeking to quash and set aside the order dated 13-10-2022 passed by Thane Municipal Corporation (respondent 2) granting permission to respondent 3 and 4 to erect the stage for ‘Diwali Pahat’ programme to be held on the premises opposite to Rajawant Jewellers, Talav Pali, Thane, R.D. Dhanuka and Kamal Khata, JJ., dismissed the petition and upheld the decision by Thane Municipal Corporation in granting such permission to respondent 4 as no mala fide was noticed since the application filed by respondent 4 was prior in point of time and respondent No. 4 has complied with all terms and conditions for such permission.
The petitioner happens to be part of the Uddhav Thackery faction and the respondent who has been granted permission happens to be from Eknath Shinde faction. It is the case of the petitioners that the petitioners made an application 06-10-2022 to the Thane Municipal Corporation under Section 234 of Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act for seeking permission to erect a Pandal, and Stage and Arch for holding ‘Diwali Pahat’ programme on 24-10-2022 which was to be duly granted subject to condition of obtaining NOC from (1) Local Police Station, (2) Traffic Division and (3) Fire Division.
However, on 13-10-2022, the Office Superintendent of Naupada Office of the Thane Municipal Corporation granted permission to respondent Nos. 3 to 4 to erect a Pandal and Stage for ‘Diwali Pahat’ programme on 24-10-2022 from 7.00 a.m. to 10.00 a.m. Thus, the present petition was filed.
The Court noted that on perusal of the Guidelines made by the Thane Municipal Corporation indicates that the application for seeking such permission under Section 234 of the Maharashtra Municipal Corporation Act shall be made 30 days prior to the date of holding of such function and Petitioner 4 has applied for such permission on 06-10-2022 and not 30 days prior to the date of holding of such function.
On contention made by the counsel for petitioner that the application dated 19-09-2022 made by respondent 4 was ante-dated as when petitioner 4 made an application, there was no other application in the file of the Thane Municipal Corporation, the Court noted that the permissions granted by all the authorities i.e., the local police station, traffic division and fire division, there was a reference to the application dated 19-09-2022 made by respondent 4, thus giving no credibility to the contention.
The Court remarked that Petitioner 4 was not even qualified for being granted any permission by the Thane Municipal Corporation on the ground that till the date of approval, all the three permissions from the three different Departments were not in place.
On another contention put forth by the petitioner that respondent 4 could not have made any such application at the threshold on the ground that he was not the President of Yuva Sena on the date of making such application or that on the letter-head of Yuva Sena, name of respondent 3 was reflecting as President on the date of making such application, the Court observed that in light of the facts, the Corporation has granted permission not in the name of Yuva Sena, but in favour of respondent 4 individually.
Thus, the Court held that since the application filed by respondent 4 was prior in point of time and respondent 4 has complied with all terms and conditions for such permission, no mala fides are found on the part of the Thane Municipal Corporation in granting such permission to respondent 4.
[Mandar Pramod Vichare v. Thane Municipal Corporation, Writ Petition No. 12593 OF 2022, decided on 19-10-2022]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Mr. Vishwajeet P. Swant, senior advocate with Mr. Abbas Mookhtiar and Mr. V.M. Parkar for the petitioners.
Mr. R.S. Apte, senior advocate with Mr. Harshal Nahata i/b Mr. M.V. Limaye for respondent 1-TMC.
Mr. Surel S. Shah with Mr. Saurabh Butala, Mr. Harshal Sathe, Mr. Jayesh Tikhe, Mr. Saiprasad Wadkar, Ms. Manvi Sharma, Mr. Omkar Chitale, Mr. Shubham Gangan, Mr. Pratham Shinde and Ms. Kasturi Thorat for respondent 3 and 4.
Mr. P.P. Kakade, G.P. with Mr. Akshay Shinde, ‘B’ Panel advocate with Ms. A.A. Purav, A.G.P. for respondent 5 to 7- State.
Mr. Rajesh Talekar for respondent 8
*Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together.