HC dismisses PIL against Eknath Shinde-led Sena’s Dussehra rally

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed a PIL seeking a probe into the funds used by the Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde-led Shiv Sena during a Dussehra rally held in Mumbai in October 2022.

A division bench of Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) after the petitioner’s advocate failed to appear before the court when the matter was called out.

The advocate, Nitin Satpute, had not appeared before the court twice in the past too when the plea was taken up for hearing.

In the previous hearings, the bench had asked petitioner Deepak Jagdev to place on record documents or evidence that could substantiate his claims in the PIL.

The plea claimed that Shinde’s rally at Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) attracted nearly 2 lakh people from across the state. It said 1,700 buses of the Maharashtra Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) were used to ferry people to the event.

Over Rs 10 crore was paid to MSRTC for the said service, apart from other facilities made available at the rally, the petitioner said. It was Shinde’s first mega rally after he became the chief minister in June 2022.

The PIL filed in 2022 sought a probe by central agencies, including the Enforcement Directorate, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) or the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police, into the matter.

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