HC disposes of contempt petition by Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association
After reviewing opinions of all departments, the State government has come to the conclusion that movement of vehicles within Cubbon Park cannot be avoided.
This decision of the government, taken on November 21, 2020, was submitted to the High Court in a contempt of court petition filed by Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association. The Association had alleged that the government had not considered its representation to ban traffic within Cubbon Park despite a direction by the High Court in October last year.
Earlier, the Association had filed a PIL petition before the court seeking direction to the government to consider its representation to ban movement of vehicles within Cubbon Park based on recommendations made by the Department of Urban Land Transport (DULT). It was on this petition that the court had asked the government to consider the representation.
The Commissioner, DULT, in September last year, had recommended that Cubbon Park may be reserved only for walkers and cyclist in an effort to preserve lung space and protect the environment. The DULT made the recommendation after some citizens’ groups sought making of a ban, imposed during the COVID-19 lockdown, on the movement of vehicles inside Cubbon Park a permanent feature.
In the affidavit filed before the court recently during the hearing of the contempt petition, Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development Department, submitted a copy of the proceedings of the meeting, held on November 21, 2020, based on the court’s October direction regarding regulating the flow of traffic in Cubbon Park, and the decision taken on the meeting that traffic movement within the park cannot be avoided.
A division bench disposed the contempt petition stating that the government did comply with the court’s direction to consider the representation, and the Association is at liberty to challenge the decision taken by the government to allow traffic movement within Cubbon Park.
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