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SC orders state govts to allow free entry in public parks

The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Centre and the state governments in Delhi and Uttar Pradesh on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to ensure free entry for public in parks maintained by them.

“Issue notice. Replies be filed within 10 weeks,” a Bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justice Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Delhi-based NGO Voice of India.

It alleged that the entry of common person in public gardens like Ambedkar Park in Noida and the park in front of the Red Fort is banned. This is against the fundamental rights guaranteed to the citizens in the Constitution.

The Bench also issued notices to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and various central ministries, including Urban Development and Home Affairs in this regard.

The plea has sought directions for Delhi and Uttar Pradesh governments “to remove the ban for genial entry in public parks (Ambedkar Park and the park in front of the Red Fort) and allow public to visit free, subject to reasonable terms. Pass a mandamus or order commanding the respondents number one and six to ensure the proper safety of the visitors as well as to secure the sanctity of these places in the forms of parks or gardens of Uttar Pradesh and Delhi under the surveillance of director general of police of Uttar Pradesh and the commissioner of police of Delhi in the manner that all these public parks, where large number of people from all walks of life visit everyday, may not become a place of debauchery or a rendezvous for the anti-social elements,” it said.

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