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Calcutta High Court Denies Permission To Perform Chhat Rituals At Subhas Sarobar In Kolkata

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
19 Nov 2020 2:46 PM GMT
Calcutta High Court Denies Permission To Perform Chhat Rituals At Subhas Sarobar In Kolkata
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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to perform Chhath Puja celebrations at Subhas Sarobar, a lake situated in the eastern part of the city, amid the surging COVID-19 cases. A Division Bench comprising of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee held that Subhas Sarobar is a large water body and must remain totally out of bounds for Chhat Puja...

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The Calcutta High Court on Thursday denied permission to perform Chhath Puja celebrations at Subhas Sarobar, a lake situated in the eastern part of the city, amid the surging COVID-19 cases.

A Division Bench comprising of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee held that Subhas Sarobar is a large water body and must remain totally out of bounds for Chhat Puja celebrations.

While holding so, the Court rejected an application moved by the West Bengal government, seeking modification of the High Court's order dated November 10, imposing an absolute ban on performing rituals at Subhas Sarovar and Rabindra Sarobar.

The State had pointed out that in its order dated November 10, the High Court had erroneously recorded that the NGT had prohibited celebrations at Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar. It was submitted that there is no NGT order as regards Subhas Sarobar, though there is a subsisting order in respect of Rabindra Sarobar, and hence, the injunction pertaining to Subhas Sarobar should be vacated.

Rejecting this application, the Division Bench observed,

"this Court finds little difference between Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar, two large water bodies several miles apart in two parts of the city, the prohibitory order passed by the NGT in respect of Rabindra Sarobar should apply with equal force to Subhas Sarobar."

The broad guidelines set by the High Court regarding the Chhat Puja may be read here:

[Chhat Puja] Calcutta High Court Sets Broad Guidelines For Chhat Puja, Asks State To Strictly Enforce Ban On Crackers

Before parting, the Bench sounded a note of appreciation for effective implementation of its order prohibiting use of firecrackers during Diwali. It said,

"the State must be commended for the manner in which the prohibition on the firecrackers was implemented, at least in and around the city of Kolkata. There were, doubtless, disturbing pockets and the stray use of fireworks; but, by and large, it was a sound and smoke-free Kali Puja and Diwali that the city and its adjoining areas experienced."

The Bench hoped that the State shall continue in the same vein during the rest of the month, including during Chhat Puja, Jagadhatri Puja and Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrations.

Related News

The Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) had moved the Supreme Court, requesting permission for performing Chhath Puja at Rabindra Sarobar. The matter was heard today and as recorded in the High Court's order, "prohibition of Chhat Puja at Rabindra Sarobar has not been interfered with by the Supreme Court at the hearing held today".

Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has refused to interfere with the order of the Delhi Government imposing a ban on the public celebration of Chhath Puja, while observing that public gatherings such as these one would act as a super-spreader of the infection.

Case Title: Anasua Bhattacharya v. State of West Bengal & Ors.

Click Here To Download Order

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