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Bombay HC allows larger space for Christmas music festival at Chowpatty | Mumbai News

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has permitted the organisers of an annual Christmas music festival at Girgaum Chowpatty almost four times the space allotted on the beach to hold it.
Justices Ramesh Dhanuka and S G Dige on Tuesday granted permission to hold the December 11 event on a 15,000 sq m area. The interim direction was passed in two pending petitions to review the High Court’s June 21, 2018 order that allowed three events on the 4,180 sq m designated area.
The judges modified “only for this year” a direction in the June 2018 order in relation to two petitioners Prabhu Yeshu Janmotsav, a charitable trust that has been holding the festival since 1965, and Indian Church Trustees.
The petitioners’ advocates Soli Cooper and Mayur Khandeparkar urged a larger area of 25,000 sq m as almost 25,000 people, including senior citizens and children, are expected to attend the event that will include carol singing.
The judges said they were “right” that 25,000 people from the community cannot be accommodated within the HC-permitted area, and that it would create a possibility of a stampede.
Senior advocate Anil Sakhare, for BMC, and advocate Rajan Jaykar, for HC appointed monitoring committee, cited earlier breaches by the organisers.
The judges took note that “other two festivals i.e. Ram Leela and Krishna Leela are spread over several days, unlike the Christmas music festival which is only for a day.” They accepted Cooper’s statement that the event would be “for about 5-6 hours.”
They directed that the petitioners shall comply with all conditions imposed by the authorities.




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