Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday granted conditional permission to the Shiv Sena to organise its traditional Dussehra rally at Shivaji Park on October 24, which is likely to be addressed by party chief Bal Thackeray.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice N.M. Jamdar also made it clear that the Sena would have to look for a new venue next year onwards. Giving a ruling on a writ petition filed by Wecom Trust, a Shivaji Park residents' association, the judges ordered the use of "distributed sound systems", installation of sound barriers and maintainence of the noise levels under check, said lawyer Ishwar Nankani, who appeared for NGO Awaaz Foundation.

"This is the first time that low volume and limited range loudspeakers shall be put up at a public rally in Mumbai besides the sound barriers which will minimise the noise pollution impact," Awaaz Foundation head Sumaira Ali told.

The Shiv Sena joined the Wecom Trust petition, challenging the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) denial of permission for the rally for the third year in a row. The BMC cited court orders that declared the Shivaji Park area as a "silence zone".

Awaaz Foundation, which has been crusading against noise pollution in Mumbai, was an intervenor in the matter. The court ordered Awaaz Foundation to monitor the decibel levels at Shivaji Park during the rally and report to the court its findings.


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