The Delhi High Court on Thursday refused to entertain a petition seeking to declare as illegal the Delhi government’s move to organise Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh, while observing that the petition was filed hurriedly and without doing proper homework, allowed the petitioner to withdraw the petition and granted him liberty to file a fresh plea with proper averments in accordance with law before an appropriate forum.
The petition has been filed by Advocate M.L. Sharma in-person, who argued that he got to know through media that the Delhi Government has been inviting people to join Ganesh Puja organised by it.
Sharma stated that the conduct and promotion of religious worship by the state and advertisement on television channels from the state treasury is contra to the Articles 21, 25 and 14 of Constitution and basic structure of secularism, causing serious injury to the constitutional mandate to the citizens of India.
It said the religious programme was being funded by the state government for political and electoral gains and is liable to be stopped.
Sharma further alleged that the Government has been running advertisements for the past 15 days, regarding organisation of the said religious celebration.
While considering the plea, the High Court asked Sharma what is your prayer in the writ petition?
Advocate Sharma replied that it is arbitrary to celebrate such festivals by the state in such an environment. This amounts to criminal breach of trust.
The Judge asked lawyer Sharma whether he had screenshots or pictures of the advertisements he was referring to, whether there were any annexures.
In response to this, lawyer Sharma said that no, there is nothing like this.
The court told Sharma that as per the claims made in the petition, “you have not presented any documents related to science in your petition and you are saying ‘festival, ceremony, advertisement is illegal’.”
While expressing displeasure, the court said this petition has been filed without doing any homework. “If you want to file, then you file a new petition. In this, we will not even issue a notice.”
Sharma told the court that he was sorry for this, his health was not good. Will file a new petition, but can the court ask the government whether they are going to organise Ganesh Chaturthi festival or not?
After this, the Delhi High Court rejecting the prayer of Sharma, allowing him to withdraw the existing petition and file a fresh plea before the court.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had denied urgent listing of a plea to prohibit the Delhi Government from organising Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations amid the Covid-19 pandemic.