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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Petition seeks Chhath Puja at Yamuna ghats, HC dismisses it

Chhath Puja Samaj Sudhar Samiti and Bihar Mitra Sangathan in the petition said that they have been organising the puja on the Yamuna banks every year, and the prohibition is not legal and reasonable, especially when the pandemic is under control in Delhi.

By: Express News Service | New Dehi |
November 10, 2021 7:53:14 pm
The court said that the petitioners have given no explanation why they didn't approach the authorities if they wanted to have additional dedicated sites. (File)

The Delhi High Court Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) decision not to allow devotees to perform Chhath Puja on the banks of the Yamuna. The petition had sought arrangements for residents of Sonia Vihar and Wazirabad to perform the puja.

Justice Rekha Palli said that there was absolutely no merit in the petition as the petitioners had failed to point out how devotees are entitled to insist that they must perform Chhath Puja only on the banks of the Yamuna.

Chhath Puja Samaj Sudhar Samiti and Bihar Mitra Sangathan in the petition said that they have been organising the puja on the Yamuna banks every year, and the prohibition is not legal and reasonable, especially when the pandemic is under control in Delhi. The authorities have been unreasonably playing with the sentiments of devotees and have unreasonably taken the plea that the puja causes pollution in the river, argued the petitioners.

Opposing the petition, the Delhi government told the court that the petitioners have approached the court belatedly and there exist 800 sites across the national capital for performing the puja. The court was also told that seven sites are in the vicinity of Sonia Vihar and Wazirabad areas and more than 20 sites have been established in the Northeast district alone.

The court said that the petitioners have given no explanation why they didn’t approach the authorities if they wanted to have additional dedicated sites. The list of designated sites was made public by the authorities and the petitioners were free to approach the authorities for creation of any designated site, added the court.

“Learned counsel for the petitioner also does not dispute the fact that the Chhath Pooja has already commenced today, and therefore even otherwise no order for creation of any alternative dedicated site at this stage can be passed,” Justice Palli said.

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