Durga puja dole: SC issues notice to WB

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the West Bengal government's order to allocate and grant Rs 28 crore to Durga Puja organisers in the state, and instead, issued a notice to the the Mamata Banerjee government to respond on the plea.

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the West Bengal government's order to allocate and grant Rs 28 crore to Durga Puja organisers in the state, and instead, issued a notice to the Mamata Banerjee government to respond on the plea.

A state resident contended that doling out taxpayers' money for religious purpose would affect the secular fabric of the country and may ignite communal passion.

A bench presided over by Justice Madan B Lokur refused to stay the order, but agreed to examine its legal validity. The court issued the notice to the state government, seeking its response on the petition.

A petitioner, Sourav Dutta challenged the October 10 order of the Calcutta High Court, which had declined to interfere with the grant of Rs 28 crore given by the Mamata Banerjee government to 28,000 puja committees across the state.

In his plea, he contended that the move would offend the spirit and object of Article 27 (freedom as to payment of taxes for promotion of any particular religion) of the Constitution.

The High Court, while dismissing the writ petition, failed to appreciate the petitioner's argument that there is no public purpose involved in organising Durga puja, rather it was a religious programme.

The decision would also violate the provision of Article 282 of the Constitution and thus, is liable to be set aside, the petitioner submitted.

DH News Service

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Durga puja dole: SC issues notice to WB

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