HC disposes of Sitabuldi Merchants’ plea against parking ban on main road

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Apr 2018 09:22:59


Legal Correspondent,

Justice Vasanti Naik and Justice Swapna Joshi, at the High Court here , have disposed of the writ petition filed by the Sitabuldi Merchants' Association against the Police banning parking on the Sitabuldi Main Road for a month under sections 115, 116 and 117 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, pointing out that the period of ban is expiring at midnight (Friday). It was a temporary measure in view of the students' examinations. In its order disposing of the petition, the High Court has recorded the statement made on behalf of the Police Department that in future in similar contingency, Police will first approach the sub-committee headed by the Divisional commissioner, Nagpur for getting its approval to any such move on its part. This sub-committee was named by the HC appointed Committee under the State Chief Secretary in the PILs filed by various citizens.

Sitabuldi Merchants Association in a petition had challenged the decision of Traffic Police banning parking of all type of vehicles on Sitabuldi market road. The association questioned the legality of the order and claimed that it was contrary to earlier orders of the High Court. DCP (Traffic) S Chaitanya in his affidavit had justified the order and said that it was issued in public interest to tackle parking mess and traffic chaos on Sitabuldi main road.  The parking ban notification was issued for a period of one month on pilot basis. As per the notification, parking has been banned on both sides of Sitabuldi main market road from Variety square to Loha pool. The police made arrangement of single lane parking of two-wheelers from Manas chowk to Morris college t-point.

According to association, the move is patently illegal and contrary to orders of High Court which has directed to keep 10 mt carriageway free of any obstruction for use of general public. Infact, this will encourage illegal hawkers and squatters to occupy the remaining open space. Petitioners also claimed that half of Sitabuldi market road is occupied by hawkers, leaving very little space for vehicular movement and March 3 notification will virtually dissuade customers from visiting Sitabuldi market and affect retail market. Since most customers of the hawkers or squatters do not use vehicles, they will not be affected. But the middle class and lower middle class segment, which prefers two-wheeler to reach Sitabuldi market, will find it extremely difficult to park vehicle at Manas square and this will further affect our business, rued the association. Advocate Firdos Mirza appeared for the petitioner- merchants’ body. Addl GP Ketaki Joshi (State), Adv Jemini Kasat (NMC) and Senior Counsel M.G.Bhangde (intervenor) represented the respondents.