In what came as a major relief for West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday has refused to intervene in the state government’s decision to give grants to Durga Puja committees in West Bengal, stating that it is a state executive decision and also found the PIL ‘not maintainable’. Refusing to intervene in the matter at this stage of Durga Puja process, the Calcutta HC bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Sampa Sarkar also suggested that state assembly can challenge the decision of the government.
On Tuesday, the state government had asserted that the High Court cannot challenge the legislative decision by the Trinamool Congress Government to grant Rs 10,000 to 28,000 individual Durga Puja committees across West Bengal.
On September 10, while addressing the coordination meeting with puja committees and police, CM Mamata Banerjee had announced a package worth Rs 28 crore to be granted to a total of 28,000 Durga Puja committee across the state. Following the announcement by the West Bengal government, a petition was filed by advocate Sourabh Dutta against the disbursement of the funds to the Durga Puja committee that stated it to be a violation of the secular structure of the Indian Constitution.
This decision of the High Court has come on the day of the Mahalaya that marks the beginning of the most awaited festival for Bengalis - the Durga Pooja. For Bengalis across the globe, the day normally starts at 4 am with the chanting of Mahisasura Mardini by Birendra Krishna Bhadra. This year Mahalaya was observed On October 8. The occasion signifies the end of Pitru Paksha, and the beginning of Devi Paksha, which marks the advent of Goddess Durga in her battle against the evil
READ: With Mahalaya, Countdown Begins For Durga Pooja
Days ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, this verdict of the High Court has come as a prominent win for Mamata Banerjee's Trinamool Congress