Delhi HC dismisses plea challenging govt decision on Chhath Pooja

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea challenging the Delhi government decision prohibiting ‘Chhath Pooja’ celebrations on the banks of Yamuna River in the national capital.

Justice Rekha Palli said there was no merit in the petition, and the orders passed by the Delhi government are in line with the directions of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) passed from time to time.

The court also said that the puja has already commenced on Wednesday and the petitioner has approached too late and no order for the creation of an alternative site for performing rituals can be passed at this moment.

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It also said that the coronavirus pandemic has not disappeared yet and the respondents have taken a decision in view of it.

In the plea filed through advocate Kamal Kant Jha, it was contended that the two registered societies have been engaged in organising the puja in Sonia Vihar and Wazirabad area.

However, the court said that it is not clear in the plea that how the devotees insist that they are entitled to perform the puja only on the Yamuna banks.

It also observed that the petition seems only for publicity as the societies did not approach the authorities even after the list of designated sites was made public.

On October 29, the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had issued an order allowing celebrations of Chhath pooja at public places except on the banks of the Yamuna river.

Chhath Puja is one of the oldest festivals to be celebrated in the country. Its significance lies in offering ‘Arghya’ to the setting Sun. Devotees, after observing rigorous fasting during the day, take a holy bath in the waters of rivers and ponds in the culmination of the festival.

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