The Orissa Excessive Courtroom on Friday rejected the petition filed by Balu Bazar Puja committee, one of many oldest Durga Puja committees of Cuttack, in search of rest on limiting the peak of the Durga idol to 4 ft excessive.
Particular reduction commissioner P.Ok. Jena instructed The Telegraph: “The excessive court docket upheld the state’s order on limiting the peak of the idols to 4 ft. We won’t make any feedback on the difficulty.”
The excessive court docket bench comprising Chief Justice S. Muralidhar and choose B.P. Routray in its order on Friday declined to intervene with the order issued by the Odisha authorities which contained, amongst a number of different measures, a restriction on the peak of the idols by mandating that it mustn’t exceed 4 ft.
Final 12 months, the court docket had permitted solely these 9 puja committees in Cuttack, which had already constructed the idols of Durga, to have idols over 4ft excessive.
The court docket stated the organisers of all pujas within the 4 months starting August and ending November 2021 have been given ample discover of the restrictions
“Second, whereas the Covid-19 state of affairs now is probably not the identical because it was in these months in 2020, the nation as an entire and Odisha too remains to be not free from it fully. The apprehension that any giant congregation of individuals would possibly become a brilliant spreader occasion is actual,” the court docket stated.
The court docket additional stated: “Durga Puja is certainly a serious competition within the nation, significantly within the jap area. Whereas Cuttack itself reportedly has over 150 Durga Puja Samitis/Mandalis, throughout Odisha the quantity would apparently be in hundreds. Enjoyable a restriction for only one Durga Puja Committee would set off comparable calls for throughout, making it troublesome for the Authorities to strictly implement the measures it has put in place at a time when the State remains to be within the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic.”The court docket additionally identified that barring the petitioners, it seems that not one of the different Durga Puja Samitis have discovered the restrictions put in place by the impugned order on the peak of the idol to be hurtful of public sentiment or interfering with their celebration of the occasions.
“The impugned order dated August 9, 2021 ( referring to SRC order to measurement of the idol lower than 4 ft) has been issued considering all of the Puja festivals within the months of August, September, October and November, 2021. These festivals embody the Ganesh Puja, the Durga Puja, the Laxmi Puja, the Kali Puja and the Kartikeswar Puja. As famous within the impugned order, these are events the place “individuals often congregate and get in contact with one another to have fun the competition/Puja throughout which it’s not potential to stick to COVID acceptable behaviour and such congregations have a possible to trigger unfold of the virus.”
The court docket additionally noticed that the Durga Puja competition itself is a mix of a number of components of celebration, and the idol is however one vital part. “In respect of those many components there has needed to be some quantity of restriction on the size and measurement. It’s in that context that the restriction on the peak of the idol must be seen. It can’t be singled out as an‘important’ facet of a convention or apply with out which, the competition itself could not have significance. On this explicit facet, the petitioners haven’t been in a position to persuade the court docket that if the peak of the idol is restricted to 4ft, then one way or the other the sanctity of the event, the devotion and fervour related to the competition, and the non secular sentiments of the individuals can be interfered with in a fashion opposite to custom,” the court docket noticed.
The court docket additionally stated: “These could also be issues of notion, however must be balanced towards a number of countervailing pursuits and elements, which concern the well being and security of the general public at giant. These definitely aren’t straightforward choices for the state to take. Equally, they don’t seem to be to be interfered with evenly by the courts until robust authorized grounds exist.”
The court docket is of the view that no case has been made out for modifying the situation within the Order dated August 9, 2021 (referring to SRC order to measurement of the idol lower than 4ft), and that too just for the petitioners, that the peak of the idol mustn’t exceed 4 ft. “Accordingly, the writ petition is dismissed,” the order stated.