SC refuses to stay state's decision of Puja grant
Kolkata: The Supreme Court refused to stay the decision of the Mamata Banerjee government to give a Rs 10,000 grant to Durga Puja organisers.
The Bengal government had announced to give the grant to each of the 28,000 Puja committees in the state.
Subsequently, a PIL was filed before the Calcutta High Court against the state government's decision. The Calcutta High Court had disposed of the PIL on October 10, allowing the state government to give the grant to the Durga Puja committees.
The High Court had also decided not to interfere into the matter as the legislature is the right forum to take decision on expenditures of the government.
Challenging the order, a petition was filed before the apex court. However, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta refused to stay the state government's decision to grant fund to the Durga Puja committees. The apex court has directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit explaining the matter, within six weeks.
It may be mentioned that the state government has stated before the court that the decision to give Rs 10,000 to each of the Durga Puja committees has been taken for traffic safety campaigns during Puja.
It may be recalled that the state government had
taken all necessary steps to
distribute cheques among the Puja committees, immed-
iately after the High Court decided not to interfere into the matter.
The cheques were distributed through local police stations in the evening, after the High Court gave its direction in this connection.
The next day, the petition was filed before the Supreme Court and the appeal was heard on Friday, when the apex court refused to stay the decision of the Mamata Banerjee government.
It may be recalled that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has urged all Durga Puja organisers to create awareness among
people when they visit the pandals.
This comes at the time when the state government has taken several steps to check road accidents.
The Chief Minister had introduced the statewide Safe Drive Save Life campaign and it has helped in bringing down the number of accidents in the state.
Now, with the grant to Durga Puja organisers, more steps will be taken to create awareness among pandal-hoppers, which will ensure traffic safety with people becoming more aware of the same.
The Durga Puja committees have also made a plan to utilise the grant properly so that the purpose is served.