Ministers and political leaders organising Durga Puja where pandals encroach on roads are behaving like goons, the Calcutta High Court said here on Tuesday while hearing a petition related to the denial of permission to organise a community puja.

Justice Sanjib Banerjee also directed the Commissioner of the city police to submit a report in seven days on why Durbar Samanway Mahila Committee (DSMC), a forum of sex workers in the city, was denied permission to organise Durga Puja.

Representatives of the DMSC moved the court when the local police station denied them permission to organise Durga Puja on a street in the northern part of the city, stating it would lead to traffic congestion.

Referring to certain big Durga Pujas organised by the State’s Ministers in certain parts of the city, Justice Banerjee asked why permission was granted to them despite such pandals blocking the streets. The court said it becomes difficult driving through the streets during Durga Puja. It had issued guidelines on setting up uniform rules for erection of pandals, such as leaving space on all sides, having separate entrance and exit gates, a limit for the height of the superstructure, among others.