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Bombay HC asks state to clarify stand on reopening places of worship amid pandemic

A division bench was hearing a PIL by the Association for Aiding Justice, seeking directions to the state government to take effective steps to ensure that the places of worship are opened for devotees while observing Covid-19 protocols and permit a limited number of devotees at a time to enter the temples.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | August 19, 2020 1:56:31 am
Covid crisis, Bombay HC, places of worship Mumbai news, Indian express newsOn Tuesday, Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni for the state government submitted an affidavit in reply filed through Kishor Raje Nimbalkar, secretary, Disaster Management Department.

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed the state government to clarify its stand on reopening of places of worship for all religions during the Covid-19 pandemic.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Revati Mohite-Dere was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by the Association for Aiding Justice, filed through advocate Dipesh Siroya, seeking directions to the state government to take effective steps to ensure that the places of worship are opened for devotees while observing Covid-19 protocols and permit a limited number of devotees at a time to enter the temples.

Last week, the court had refused to grant relief for opening Jain temples during the Paryushan period.

After the state government submitted that it does not intend to open all places of worship at this stage of the coronavirus outbreak, the court directed it to file a response stating its position within 10 days. It also asked the petitioner to file a rejoinder three days thereafter.

The HC will hear a plea next on September 4.

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