SC to hear plea challenging WB granting Durga Puja funds
(Sourced from PTI)
The Supreme Court yesterday agreed to hear today an appeal challenging the West Bengal Government's decision to grant Rs. 10,000 each to Puja committees in WB for Durga Puja celebrations. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was apprised that on Wednesday the Calcutta HC had refused to interfere with the WB Government's decision to grant funds to Puja committees in the state.
The bench also comprising Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph was told by lawyer Saurav Dutta, who had filed an appeal against the High Court's decision, that it was against the established principle of law and sought an urgent hearing on his plea.
The Calcutta HC on Wednesday had refused to interfere in the state government's decision and said the legislature is the appropriate forum to decide on such expenditure. An interim stay granted by the court on disbursal of funds stood vacated as the court disposed of the plea. Dutta claimed that the funds were a dole to Puja committees and had no public purpose.
The plea also claimed that providing funds to Puja committees is a violation of the secular structure of the Constitution. On September 10, Mamata Banerjee had declared that Rs. 10,000 would be given to each of the 28,000 Puja committees across the state- 3,000 in the state capital, Kolkata, and 25,000 in the districts, costing the government an amount of Rs. 28 crore.