High Court reprieve for clubs in Cubbon Park

High Court reprieve for clubs in Cubbon Park

The High Court of Karnataka has dismissed a petition seeking to evict clubs operating within the Cubbon Park area.

Bimal Desai had moved the Court seeking a direction to evict all the clubs - Century Club, Secretariat Club, Press Club and Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Stadium and Club located in the vicinity of Cubbon Park. He had claimed that eviction was required to protect the park and lung spaces in the interest of public.

Desai had stated that Cubbon Park, which sprawled over 300 acres in 1873 had shrunk to less than 190 acres at present. The State government enacted Karnataka Government Parks (Preservation) Act, 1975 with the objective of saving parks from further shrinkage. The Act imposed a statutory duty on the State to maintain and preserve all government parks including the Cubbon Park.

“An order prohibiting construction of any temporary or permanent structure in the Cubbon Park was also passed. Despite this, several illegal buildings continued to be permitted inside the notified boundaries of the park,” the petition stated.

Accordingly, cases of encroachments and violations of norms were filed against these clubs. Petitions were filed against Century Club, Secretariat Club, Tennis Club and Public Library. A case of running a bar without permission was filed against Press Club in 2002. However these petitions were dismissed on December 15,  2011, for non appearance of the counsel for the petitioner.

But the issue continued with the petitioner filing a petition for restoration. However, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice B V Nagarathna dismissed the petition on May 28 following a submission by Advocate General Ravivarma Kumar, opposing restoration of the petition. “There is  no ground made out for recalling order of dismissal for default,” the Bench said.

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