The Calcutta High Court on Thursday rejected the plea seeking permission to perform Chhath Pooja festival at Subhas Sarobar, which is a lake situated in the eastern part of the city, during the increase in COVID-19 cases.
A Division Bench of Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee observed that Subhas Sarobar is a large lake and must be excluded from bounds for Chhaht Pooja.
The Court rejected the plea submitted by the West Bengal Government, requesting for the modifications in the High Court’s order passed on 10th November, in which the court imposed a total ban on the performance of rituals at Subhas Sarovar and Rabindra Sarobar.
The State pointed out that the Court in its order passed on 10th November had erroneously mentioned that the National Green Tribunal had prohibited the Chhath Pooja celebrations at Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarovar. It was stated that NGT has passed no order with regards to Subhas Sarovar, although an order by NGT was passed regarding Rabindra Sarobar, and therefore, the injunction related to Subhas Sarobar should be cancelled.
The Division Bench rejected the application and said,
“ This court cannot see any major difference between the Rabindra Sarobar and Subhas Sarobar which are two large water bodies situated in two parts of the city, the orders prohibiting celebrations on Rabindra Sarobar can also be applied with equal force to Subhas Sarobar.”
The Bench concluded with a note of appreciation for the effective implementation of the orders passed by it in which it ordered the ban on the use of firecrackers during Diwali.
It observed- “the State must be appreciated for the way it prohibited the people from bursting crackers, at least in and around Kolkata. No doubt firecrackers were sold on a large scale but the Kolkata witnessed sound and smoke-free Kali Pooja and Diwali.”
The Bench showed hope that the State will continue in the same manner during the rest of the month, which will have Chhath Pooja, Jagadhatri Pooja and Guru Nanak Jayanti festivities.