Observing that the current Covid-19 pandemic situation is “not at all conducive” for opening places of worship in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court on Friday refused to grant relief to a petitioner seeking permission that the Jain community be allowed to offer prayers at their temples for Paryushan festival between August 15 and 23.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Surendra P Tavade was hearing a 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, including Jain temples, are immediately opened for devotees for the Paryushan festival.
Chief Justice Dipankar Datta asked the petitioner which temple did he personally consider to be the biggest. To this, Siroya answered: “The biggest temple is humanity.”
Following this, the HC said that petitioners need not press for such prayers.
“For the love and safety of humanity, at present during a pandemic, pray at home,” it said.
The court added that petitions seeking similar reliefs before another division bench are yet to be disposed and the petitioner can join the petitioners there.
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