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Delhi HC says there is no Chhath puja between Covid-19; Bihar CMs require care




Noting that a person must be alive to celebrate any festival and practice any religion, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday denied permission to celebrate Chhath puja in public places when a third wave of COVID-19 hit the capital national.

While the religious sentiments of all sections of society must be respected, the right to life and health of the general public cannot be sacrificed on the altar of a right to celebrate a festival, however, it may be important for a community of special, “said a bench of judges Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad.

Observations from the court also came when the prime ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar – Yogi Adityanath and Nitish Kumar – demanded caution during the celebrations over the COVID-19 pandemic. Adityanath encouraged people to try to celebrate the festival from the confines of their homes as they had done for previous festivals.

In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has imposed restrictions on the mass celebration of Chhath puja on beaches, river banks and other natural water bodies in the city and urged worshipers to avoid crowding.

Delivering its order, the Delhi High Court said the right to health of residents in the capital is supreme and granting any such permission to celebrate Chhath puja in public places like ponds, river banks and temples would inevitably result in celebrations turning into a super spreader of infection

“This is the time to sit down to contain the infection and not escalate it,” she said as she rejected a petition from Durga Jan Seva Trust, challenging the Nov. 10 order from the Delhi Disaster Management Authority ( DDMA) to not allow any public meeting for Chhath puja on 20 November.

Stoli said the request to seek permission to hold a rally of 1,000 people for Chhath puja, is undeserved.

Oh really! Today when the Delhi government is not allowing marriages with over 50 people, you only want 1,000 people. How did it come about ?, she said.

The Supreme Court said it sees no reason to intervene in the November 10 order of the DDMA which has considered the spread of COVID-19 infection in Delhi and decided not to allow any person to gather in public places to celebrate Chhath puja.

During the hearing, the jeweler noted that the right to health must first be respected and the person must live to be able to practice any religion.

“You have to be alive to celebrate every festival.”

Stoli said it appeared the applicant’s confidence had been lost in the eyes of the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Delhi, where even according to the city government, represented through additional councilor Sanjoy Ghose and lawyer Naman Jain, a third wave is under way.

The daily infection rate in the past week is moving between 7,800 to 8,593. The daily death rate has surpassed double figures and reached 104 just a few days ago. As of today, there are 42,004 active cases of COVID-19 infection in Delhi.

In such circumstances, the applicant / Trust cannot expect the respondent / state to allow him / her to organize a Chhath puja for more than 2 persons in a public place in Delhi. Any such permission if granted, will inevitably result in the celebration in question turning into a super spreader of infection, the jeweler said.

In the present day and age, the seeker / Faith’s desire to celebrate Chhath puja on such a large scale in public places is refuted by the existing earthly reality prevalent in Delhi. The Applicant / Trust should have been alive for the situation in question before going to court for such relief.

Chhath puja is celebrated by thousands of people in the capital, especially those coming from Bihar and East Uttar Pradesh.

Lawyer Ranjan Chaudhary, representing the Trust, stated that while passing the order, the authorities did not take into account the fact that Chhath puja is a large religious festival celebrated by the people of Bihar and eastern UP on an annual basis.

He said that for the last few years, the Trust has been organizing Chhath puja in the Kirari MCD field which can accommodate over 2 lakh people and this time also, it may be allowed to organize puja in the same place by adopting all security measures .

The trust claimed that the instructions issued by the authorities not to organize such a puppy during the COVID-19 pandemic oversee the religious feelings of the people and constitute a violation of their right to perform ceremonies in public places.

In the national capital, a Poorvanchalis-based organization – people from eastern Bihar and Uttar Pradesh – plans to host Chhath puja online for fans.

The four-day Chhath Festival kicked off on Wednesday. Folk songs dedicated to the Sun God and the scent of traditional offerings filled the air at home only as ghats in Delhi, otherwise decorated for worshipers every year, will not be used this time.

The organization, Poorvanchal Gaurav, is hosting the festival online from November 18-20. The festival is celebrated to dedicate to the Sun as a cosmic energy.

A member of the organization said the celebrations will be organized on Facebook and YouTube so that fans do not miss the sense of community gathering that takes place in ghat and other water bodies during the festival.

(Only the title and photo of this report may have been revised by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a shared source.)

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