The Supreme Court will hear Friday a petition challenging the Calcutta High Court’s decision not to interfere with the West Bengal government’s decision to grant Rs 10,000 to each puja committee in the state.
The plea was mentioned before a bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph, seeking an urgent hearing. The court agreed to take it up on Friday.
The appeal said the High Court had “failed to appreciate that there is no public purpose involved in organizing Durga Puja rather it is a religious programme”.
“Since no public purpose would be served by granting money and/or handing out concessions to Durga Puja organisers, the said decision of the state violates the provision of Article 282 of the Constriction of Indian and thus, the said decision of granting money to the puja committees is liable to be set aside,” the plea contended, adding that “there is no provision of law by which state exchequer could be utilised for giving gift to puja organiser”.
The Constitution prohibits the State from compelling any person to lay any tax, proceeds of which is to be spent for the promotion of any particular religion or religious denomination, it said.