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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Bombay HC refuses to intervene in state govt’s decision to not open places of worship

Stating that it was a policy decision of the state government not to allow devotees to enter places of worship during pandemic, the HC refused to intervene after observing that there was a rise in Covid-19 cases even in rural areas.

Written by Omkar Gokhale | Mumbai | September 25, 2020 2:52:36 am
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Keeping in mind the rise in Covid-19 cases even in rural areas, the Bombay High Court on Thursday refused to intervene in the state government’s decision to not open places of worship to the public. The court said it will review after two months based on the Covid-19 situation in Maharashtra

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice G S Kulkarni was hearing a PIL seeking that places of worship be reopened to public and that the state government ensure implementation of social distancing and other Covid-19 safety measures. The plea filed by the Association for Aiding Justice, through advocate Dipesh Siroya, sought that the court grant relief to devotees in view of central government guidelines and Supreme Court order that had allowed opening of three Jain temples in Mumbai for Paryushan period last month.

Stating that it was a policy decision of the state government not to allow devotees to enter places of worship during pandemic, the HC refused to intervene after observing that there was a rise in Covid-19 cases even in rural areas.

The bench said, “Taking judicial notice of the given situation prevailing in the state of Maharashtra, we are not inclined, at this stage, to pass any order, as prayed for by the petitioner, directing the state to open the places of worship, even in a limited manner. We leave it to the state to decide its next course of action, if at all the situation changes for the better.”

The court adjourned the matter for two months.

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