SC to hear plea against Durga Puja grant today

Petitioners sought an urgent hearing

October 12, 2018 01:35 am | Updated 01:35 am IST - New Delhi

The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a plea challenging the West Bengal government’s decision to grant ₹28 crore to 28,000 puja committees in the State for Durga Puja celebrations.

The Calcutta High Court had on Wednesday rejected a public interest litigation challenging the West Bengal government's decision to give ₹10,000 to each of the 28,000 puja committees across the State.

The top court posted the case for Friday after the petitioners sought an urgent hearing claiming that the decision of the State government was against the established principle of law.

The petition said that the High Court, while dismissing the PIL, failed to appreciate that there was “no public purpose” involved in organising Durga Puja, rather it was a “religious programme".

‘Against secularism’

It said that by granting money to the puja organisers, the State government was indulging in practices which were against the principles of secularism, which is part of the basic structure of the Constitution.

“Since no public purpose would be served by granting money and/or handing out concessions to Durga Puja organisers, the said decision of the State violates the provision of Article 282 of the Constitution and thus, the said decision of granting money to the puja committees is liable to be set aside,” the plea said.

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