Law & Judiciary

    Calcutta HC allows Ganesha Puja on govt land in Bengal’s Durgapur

    The Hawk
    September10/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    Kolkata: Calcutta High Court’s single-judge bench of Justice, Sabyasachi Bhattacharyya, has cleared docks for a community puja community to organise Ganesha Puja on a government land at the industrial township of Durgapur in West Burdwan district of West Bengal.

    Although since 2014, the Ganesha Puja has been organised at Chaturang Ground, which comes under jurisdiction of the Asansol Durgapur Development Authority (ADDA), this year the authority denied permission to the community puja committee on grounds that government land can only be utilised either for any state function or for Durga Puja purpose.

    The organisers approached the bench of Justice Bhattacharyya, who questioned the logic behind denying permission for Ganesha Puja while allowing the same for Durga Puja. He also questioned whether such a dual-policy is an attempt of “gender-bias” even involving gods and goddesses. 

    The ADDA counsel’s logic that Durga Puja is a semi-secular festival, permission to organise the same on government land made Justice Bhattacharyya amused further. “What is the reason for you to have a notion that Ganesha Puja is not a semi-secular festival?” he questioned.

    Finally, he allowed the community puja committee to arrange the Ganesha Puja on that ground as per rituals and also ordered them to return the land back to ADDA by September 22.

    This is the second time within a gap of less than a month that the Calcutta High Court had to clear the decks to community Puja organisers to organise puja after being denied permission to perform the same on government land.

    Last month Justice Bhattacharyya’s bench ordered the New Town Development Authority in North 24 Parganas district to allow a community puja organiser to organise Durga Puja on land owned by the authority. While passing the order, Justice Bhattacharyya observed that that Durga Puja as a festival was not just a religious event but has a wider secular connotations being a melting pot of different cultures.