Citizens Visit Mall Not Just For Shopping But Also For Leisure: Bombay High Court Allows R-City Mall To Hold Ice Cream Festival

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The high court noted that the ice cream festival was for a limited period of about three days and by installation of temporary stalls.

A division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising Justice GS Kulkarni and Justice RN Laddha has recently allowed an ice cream festival in R-City Mall at Ghatkopar while observing that citizens visit malls not only for shopping but also for leisure food area, play area, amusement/cinema.

“It is thus clear that recreational activities would include amusement or enjoyment-related leisure activities. It needs no elaboration that citizens visit malls not only for the purpose of shopping but also, for leisure or for amusement, which they would derive not only from shopping activities but also, from visiting different specialized areas created in such malls like the food area, play area, amusement/cinema, etc,” the bench observed.

The high court was hearing a plea filed by the R-City mall against the refusal of BMC to grant a No Objection Certificate (NOC) to hold a three-day ice cream festival.

BMC had refused permission on the ground that it is a commercial activity that is not permissible at the recreational/open space of the said mall.

The division bench observed that the activity to be undertaken by the R-city mall i.e., the ice cream festival was for a limited period of about three days, by the installation of temporary stalls. The regulation allowed “recreational activities” under clause (1)(g)(ii), court underscored. 

Further, the high court was also informed that the ice cream stalls would be set up by entities having licenses and it will not be an unregulated commercial activity.

The division bench in its order noted that visitors can enjoy the benefits of edibles in a common space area

“In other words, it is only an activity where the visitors of the mall would enjoy the benefit of a variety of edibles at a common open space, which, in our opinion, is a permissible recreational activity within the meaning of Regulation 27,” the bench noted.

Therefore while asking the BMC to issue NOC to R-City Mall the bench said,

“We are of the clear opinion that the Municipal Corporation needs to grant such permission to the petitioners. We, accordingly, direct the Municipal Corporation to grant appropriate NOC/permission to the petitioners during the course of the day. The permission shall remain valid as per the application of the petitioners."

Case Title: R Mall Developers Pvt Ltd & Anr vs MCGM & Ors.