The Delhi HC refused to interfere with the AAP government’s decision to ban Chhath Puja celebrations at public places like ponds and riverbanks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Delhi HC refused to interfere with the AAP government’s decision to ban Chhath Puja celebrations at public places like ponds and riverbanks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The third wave of the infection was already underway in the national capital and allowing a large gathering would result in people becoming “super spreaders”, the top court observed.
A petition by Durga Jan Seva Trust, challenging the November 10 order of the chairman of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) not to allow any gathering in public places for Chhath Puja on November 20, was dismissed by the HC bench comprising of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad.
The trust had sought permission to hold a gathering of 1,000 people for Chhath Puja.
The bench, responding to the petition, said: “Oh really! Today when the Delhi government is not allowing marriages with over 50 persons, you want only 1,000 persons. How come?”
The authorities passed the order after considering the spread of infection in Delhi and the petition was meritless, the bench said.
“In today’s day and time, such a petition is belied by the ground reality,” the bench said. It also added that the petitioner should have taken into consideration the current circumstances in the city.
It appeared that the petitioner is not alive to the COVID-19 situation, the HC said.
“The infection rate is hovering between 7,800 to 8,593…the death rate is in double figures. There are 42,000 active cases,” the top court noted.
Thousands of believers celebrate Chhath Pooja in the national capital, especially those from states like Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.