Nagpur: The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed the contempt petition filed by Janardan Moon against NMC’s Sports Officer and In-Charge of Kavi Suresh Bhat Memorial Hall Harshal Hiwarkhedkar. At the same time, the High Court has provided Moon liberty to book Kavi Suresh Bhat Hall according to commercial rate.
Commenting on the riling, Moon said that very short time is left for preparations of his programme hence it could be postponed by 15 days to one month. “But our programme will be held as decided in Kavi Suresh Bhat Hall itself,” a determined Moon said.
It may be recalled that the former Corporator and promoter of an organisation named “Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)” Janardan Moon had issued contempt notice to NMC’s Sports Officer and In-Charge of Kavi Suresh Bhat Memorial Hall Harshal Hiwarkhedkar for disregarding the directives of High Court. According to Moon, the Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court had directed the Nagpur Municipal Corporation to grant permission to his “RSS” for holding a discussion on the topic of ‘ban on unregistered RSS’ in Kavi Suresh Bhat Hall. But the NMC disregarded the High Court directive, Moon claimed in his contempt notice.
The hearing on the contempt plea was held on Tuesday before the Division Bench of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Arun Upadhye. The Nagpur Municipal Corporation argued that since Moon failed to submit documentary evidence regarding his organisation as charitable trust, the security deposit was not accepted from him. On the other hand, the lawyer representing Moon countered the NMC claim and said his client fulfilled all due process as told by NMC. Hence he should be allotted the hall in accordance with the rules.
The High Court noted that no contempt of court was done by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation in this matter. The court also ruled that since Moon has failed to submit evidence regarding his organisation being charitable trust, the hall would not be made available to him on concessional rate. He should book the hall on commercial rate, the High Court ruled and disposed of his contempt plea.
Meanwhile, Moon said he not at all disappointed with the High Court ruling. “The NMC deliberately misled him. The office of Sports Officer and In-Charge of Kavi Suresh Bhat Hall had directed us to deposit two demand drafts of Rs 5000 + Rs 900 (GST) towards rent and Rs 15,000 as security deposit. However, even after completing the process, we were told to submit certificate showing our organisation as charitable trust and thus refused to accept the amounts,” he claimed.
For booking Kavi suresh Bhat Hall, Moon will have to remit Rs 25,000 for rent and Rs 15,000 as security deposit.
During the hearing on writ petition filed by Moon, the High Court on April 17, 2018, had permitted the petitioner to hold his programme in NMC-owned Kavi Suresh Bhat Hall on April 29, 2018. The NMC was directed to provide registration form of the hall to Janardan Moon (petitioner) in this connection. Accordingly, the petitioner submitted an application to NMC’s Sports Officer on April 17. Subsequently, the petitioner was informed by NMC that the slot “B” (12.30 pm to 3.30 pm) of the hall was available on April 29 and he will have to remit Rs 5900 towards rent and demand draft of Rs 15,000 as security deposit. Accordingly, Moon went to the office of Sports Officer and In-Charge of Kavi Suresh Bhat Memorial Hall Harshal Hiwarkhedkar on April 19 for remitting the rent amount and the deposit. But without assigning any valid and lawful reason, the authority refused to accept the demand draft of the said deposit money, again. Earlier too he was sidelined without assigning any reason, Moon claimed.