Finally, it was a big relief for Bengal’s Didi-led government, as the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to intervene into the government’s decision to grant Rs 10,000 each to around 28,000 Durga Puja organizers across the state as of now.
The court stated that the Legislature is the appropriate forum to decide on expenditure by the state government.
At a later stage if the scope will arise, then the court can interfere said the judge bench.
A division bench of acting Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Sampa Sarkar refused to entertain a PIL challenging the state’s decision to allot money to registered community Durga Puja organizers across the West Bengal.
The justice bench also stated that the puja bonus issue can be taken up after the next budget.
On 10 September, while speaking at a meeting of community puja organizers in Kolkata, the CM had declared that Rs 10,000 would be given to each of the 28,000 puja committees across the state.
On a contradictory, last week when the court put on hold distribution of money to the puja committees CM Mamata Bannerjee had said, “Wonder, how funds already distributed can be taken back!”
Replying to a question raised by the court earlier on using public money for religious purposes, the government lawyer Kishore Dutta asserted the court that the funds are to be used for assisting the police under its traffic safety campaign and not for any religious purposes.
On Wednesday, after hearing the court’s decision Advocate Ashok Kumar Nag appeared on behalf of the state and stated “The High Court has been very pragmatic. The court made it clear that interfering in the matters of the economic policies of the state was not required in this matter. The HC left it with the legislature to take the final call”.
With just two days to go before Durga puja begins in Bengal, the High Court has cleared the deck for disbursement of allotting the puja bonus for the puja committees in the state.