Monday, December 4, 2023

Allahabad High Court dismisses PIL seeking ban on Chhath Puja at highly polluted Hindon River

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The Allahabad High Court, refusing to intervene, has dismissed a PIL seeking a ban on Chhath Puja in the highly polluted Hindon River in Ghaziabad.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava passed this order while hearing a PIL filed by Mahant Mukesh Goswami Prachin Shani Dev Mandir Ganga Ghat.

The PIL has been instituted for direction to the respondents to clean the Banks of Hindon River and the River itself at Ghaziabad so as to facilitate the Devotees to perform the “Chhath Pooja ” commencing from 19.11.2023.

It is contended that “Chhath Pooja” and the rituals relating to it are observed for over four days and include bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, standing in water and offering prayer and ‘Arghya’ to the setting and rising sun.

Counsel for the petitioner fairly admit that there is some delay in filing the writ petition as ‘Chhath Pooja’ is to commence the day after tomorrow, i.e, 19.11.2023.

He, however, submits that petitioner has already approached the District Magistrate for redressal of his grievance and the Magistrate be directed to consider the said grievance, in accordance with law.

Counsel appearing for the State submitted that apart from delay in filing the writ petition, on merits also the petitioner has no case and the devotees can still perform the ‘Pooja’ even without wading in the River Hindon instead by creating artificial water tubs or using alternate sites such as reservoirs, ponds etc.

Be that as it may, the relief as prayed for by the petitioner cannot be granted at this stage in the petition and therefore, the Court dismissed the petition leaving it open for the petitioner to approach the competent authority for the redressal of his grievance.

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