In a significant order, the Bombay High Court on Friday allowed only five persons along with a videographer to carry Tazia, replica of the tomb of Husain, the martyred grandson of Muhammad, that is carried in processions during Muharram, on August 30 from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm from Zanabia, Bhendi Bazar to the Shia Cemetry at Mazgaon. Court clarified that it will be the only Tazia carried in the entire State of Maharashtra.
Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice Madhav Jamdar were hearing a writ petition filed by one of the oldest organizations of the Shia Community All India Idaara-Tahafuz-E-Hussainiyat through its General Secretary Habib Nasir. Petitioners sought directions to allow the rituals of Muharram to be performed during the present pandemic, from August 27 till August 30 daily for two hours.
Yesterday, the Principal Secretary, Home Department and Secretary, Disaster Management Department were directed to hear the President and the General Secretary of the Petitioner Organization at 5 pm yesterday itself. Both the aforesaid Secretaries were directed to submit their decision with reasons before the Court by 11 am today.
After hearing the parties, both the Secretaries took a decision with detailed reasons today and submitted the same on time. Senior Advocate Rajendra Shirodkar appeared for the petitioners and Advocate General AA Kumbhakoni along with GP Poornima Kantharia for the State.
After hearing both parties, Court noted that they have agreed that in view of the limited order, that is being passed hereunder, no reasons in support of this Order will be recorded.
"Especially since this Order is being passed as and by way of as exception, which is not intended to be used as a Precedent by other persons, to seek permissions, to hold any festival / festivities, which would involve by their very nature congregation of people" Court said.
Finally, the undertaking submitted by the General Secretary of the petitioner organization Habib Nasir was accepted. The undertaking states-
i. In a representative capacity for and on behalf of the entire Shia community residing in the State, there will be only one Taziya, which will be carried from Zainabia (Bhendi Bazar) Mumbai to Byculla Mazgaon, Shia Cemetery, situated at Mumbai, in the entire State. No other Taziya other than the one mentioned hereinabove, will be carried anywhere in the State.
ii. The aforesaid one Taziya will be carried / transported from Zainabia (Bhendi Bazar) Mumbai to Byculla Mazgaon, Shia Cemetery, situated at Mumbai, via J.J. Hospital, Prince Ali Khan Hospital, Sales Tax Office circle in a truck i.e. transport vehicle large enough to accommodate it. There will not be any procession as such, for carrying the said one Taziya, in the aforesaid manner.
iii. In no case whatsoever, any congregation of people at any point from the beginning till the end of the said journey of aforesaid one Taziya will be allowed.
iv. The aforesaid one Taziya will be carried along strictly aforesaid one route.
v. The aforesaid one Taziya will be carried along the aforesaid route on Sunday 30th August, 2020 from 4.30 p.m. to 5.30 p.m.
vi. Not more than five persons will carry the aforesaid one Taziya on a truck, as aforesaid along with one videographer. However, after taking the aforesaid one Taziya down near the graveyard, it will be carried on foot, for a distance of not more than a hundred meter. The names, age and addresses of these five persons will be submitted with the office of the Commissioner of Police, Mumbai by 5.00 p.m., on 29th August, 2020.
Disposing of the petition, Court directed the State Government to impose a restriction over gathering of people around theses areas (between Bhendi Bazar and Mazgaon), including the point where aforesaid one Taziya is to start its journey, up to the graveyard, by passing appropriate orders under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The State shall also provide an escort as also a pilot car for the aforesaid truck, carrying the Taziya and will take appropriate measures to keep the traffic away and the road clear along the aforesaid route.
Yesterday, refusing to allow a petition for allowing processions for Muharram across the country, a bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde had said that the entire community will be targeted for spreading the virus
Click Here To Download Order