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Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Bombay HC permits Chehlum procession in south Mumbai with strict conditions

The court said that the total number of persons should not exceed 150 fully vaccinated persons having 14 days elapsed since their second dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai |
Updated: September 28, 2021 10:19:35 am
The Bombay High Court

The Bombay High Court on Monday permitted a Muslim religious organisation to hold Chehlum procession in south Mumbai, but with a few riders in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The court said that the procession should have not more than ten trucks consisting of not more than 15 persons each, between 4.30 pm and 8 pm from Masjid-E-Iranian at Imambada Road to a graveyard in Mazgaon. It also said that the total number of persons should not exceed 150 fully vaccinated persons having 14 days elapsed since their second dose of Covid-19 vaccine. The height of five Taziyas should not exceed 6 feet, while the height of ‘Alams’ in each truck cannot exceed 10 feet. No band or music can accompany the procession.

A division bench of Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Justice Madhav Jamdar was hearing a petition filed by two organisations All India Idara Tahafuz e Hussainiyat, a religious organisation in south Mumbai and Haidry Jama Masjid Trust from Mira Road in Thane district through senior advocate Rajendra Shirodkar and advocate Shehzad Naqui, respectively, seeking directions to allow procession.

The outfits had approached the court last week for permission to take out processions on the occasion of Chehlum that commemorates the 40th day of the martyrdom of Prophet Mohammed’s grandson, Imam Husain.

The court also restricted entry into the cemetery to only 35 out of 150 persons when the procession ends and restricted people from coming on roads following the trucks.

The court directed that details of those participating in the procession be given to the Deputy Commissioner of Police of the concerned area before commencement of procession and that some person with authority from the organisation should help the administration control the situation

Government Pleader Purnima H Kantharia submitted that while state had no objection to allow a representative procession at Mumbai for the entire Maharashtra, she raised serious objection regarding such procession in Mira Road, stating that it may lead to similar requests from other parts of the state.

“We have given our thoughtful and anxious consideration to the entire issue before us. While the rights and religious sentiments of the people are to be respected; but at the same time because of the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic restrictions imposed by the State cutting across all segments of the society are required to be adhered to, failing which it may lead to disastrous consequences which we should try to avoid,” the bench observed in order.

The court then referred to restrictions laid down in order passed by a coordinate bench last month permitting Muharram Procession in south Mumbai and said, “Since passing of the said order, hardly a month has elapsed and we see no reason to depart from the same…”

The court, while granting permission to south Mumbai organisation, asked it to give an undertaking to adhere to the state’s Covid-19 guidelines including protocol for physical distancing, failing which action would be taken and that no other Taziya will be carried out anywhere in the state.

Disposing of the pleas, the bench said that Haidry Jama Masjid Trust of Mira Road, through their members, may also join the representative ‘Chehlum’ procession in South Mumbai on Tuesday.

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