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Updated January 20th, 2024 at 18:21 IST

Maharashtra: 4 Law Students Challenge Declaration of Public Holiday on Jan 22 in Bombay HC

The petitioners claimed that any policy regarding declaration of public holidays cannot be at the whims and fancies of the political party in power.

Abhishek Tiwari
Bombay High Court
Declaration of public holiday on January 22 in Maharashtra challenged in Bombay High Court | Image:PTI/ Representational
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Mumbai: The Maharashtra government’s decision to declare a public holiday on January 22 to mark the occasion of historic ‘Pran Pratishtha’ at the Ram Mandir, has been taken to court. On Saturday, four law students from three various law colleges filed a petition in the Bombay High Court challenging the state government’s decision of declaring a public holiday on the consecration day.

It is being said that the four law students from Maharashtra National Law University (MNLU), Government Law College (GLC), Mumbai, and NIRMA Law University, Gujarat have urged quashing of order issued by the Maharashtra government on January 19.

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Petitioners also challenged order issued by MHA

The petitioners have also challenged the notification issued by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs on May 8, 1968, that empowered the states to exercise powers under the Negotiable Instruments Act to declare public holidays.

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The petitioners named as Shivangi Agarwal, Satyajeet Salve, Vedant Agrawal and Khushi Bangia claimed that any policy regarding declaration of public holidays cannot be at the whims and fancies of the political party in power and sought a stay on the order. The petitioners have urged the high court seeking the constitution of a special bench to hear their plea on Sunday.

The petitioners in their PIL stated, "Holiday can be declared perhaps to commemorate a patriotic personality or historic figure but not to celebrate consecration of Ram Lalla to appease a particular section of the society or religious community."

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Such holidays would destroy India's secular fabric: Petitioners

As per the plea, the state government notification is nothing but expending from the government exchequer for religious purposes which is prohibited under the Constitution. The petitioners further emphasized that such public holidays would lead to loss of education, financial loss and loss of governance and public work, since schools, banks and government offices would be closed.

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Underscoring the legal authenticity of the order, the petitioners said, "In the absence of legislation conferring power to declare a public holiday on the State governments and without there being guidelines which are secular in nature, such declarations to appease a majority community that too for political purposes would be a sheer abuse of power and would destroy secular fabric of India." 
 

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Published January 20th, 2024 at 18:21 IST

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