The Calcutta High Court has revoked the West Bengal Government's restrictions on immersion of Durga idols on September 30 and October 1, stating the latter was exercising extreme power without any basis.
The Mamata Banerjee government had earlier curbed immersion of the idols after 10 pm on September 30 (Vijaya Dashami) and on October 1 on account of Muharram. However, the court has allowed the immersion of idols till 12 am on all days, including Muharram.
The court also asked police to ensure that separate routes are designated for idols' immersion and Tazia. The government had imposed these curbs citing law and order issues.
Slamming the government, while hearing public interest litigations challenging restrictions on immersion of idols at the conclusion of the Durga Puja festival, the acting Chief Justice, Rakesh Tiwary, said the government was exercising ‘extreme power without any basis’.‘There is a difference between regulation and prohibition. You are exercising extreme power without any basis,’ the acting Chief Justice Tiwary, said. ‘Just because you are the state, can you pass arbitrary order?’“
‘If you get a dream, that something will go wrong, you cannot impose restrictions,’ the court said, taking a strong view of the state government's move.
Yesterday as well, the High Court had stated that the state cannot hinder a citizen’s right to practise religion on the basis of a mere assumption of law and order disruption and must provide sound reasons for doing so.
‘Let them (Hindus and Muslims) live in harmony, do not create a line between them,’ Justice Tiwary said. The bench, also comprising Justice Harish Tandon, had said a mere assumption that a law and order situation might arise, owing to Vijaya Dashami and Muharram falling one after the other, could not be the basis of imposing such curbs.