Journalist Files PIL in Bombay HC Against Commercial Use of ‘Playground’ in Kandivali(West) for Falguni Pathak Event

Bombay High Court LAW INSIDER

Khushi Bajpai

Dated: September 19, 2022 at 18:34 IST

In order to stop the commercial exploitation of the Late Pramod Mahajan Sports Complex in the Mumbai suburbs for musical events, including one by singer Falguni Pathak, scheduled to be held from September 26 to October 5, a Mumbai-based journalist has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition with the Bombay High Court.

Vinayak Sanap, a social activist, filed the petition through attorney Mayur Faria, who claimed that the ground was designated as a playground in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s Development Plan (BMC).

After learning that organizers Big Tree Entertainment Pvt. Ltd. had submitted petitions to host the Navratri celebration with Falguni Pathak for ten days, Sanap went to the High Court.

The cost of the event’s tickets ranges from Rs. 800 to Rs. 4200.

According to Sanap, the sports complex ground should never be used for commercial purposes by a third party and should always be accessible to the general public.

The PIL further pleaded that the playground should be kept open to the general people for free in the case that it is used for anything other than what it is intended for.

“There are extremely few public spaces where people can get fresh air, thus this playground cannot be fenced or used as a barrier to prevent the public from taking advantage of it.”

According to one of the event managers, with a daily admission price of Rs. 850 and a season pass price of Rs. 4200, the events attracted 30,000–35,000 visitors per day.

Such numbers demonstrate the economic exploitation of the playground, which is divided for pennies on the dollar and a trivial rent payment,” according to the petition.

The petition said that the Mumbai Division’s Deputy Director of Sports and Youth Services was blatantly prejudiced and favored the event’s organizers by granting them access to the playground without holding a formal public tendering process.

Sanap proposed that the State Government take a sizable security deposit to ensure that the third-party applicant complies with the State Government’s terms and conditions and returns the property to its pre-existing state.

On September 21, the petition is most likely to be scheduled for hearing.

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