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Funds for Durga Puja: Supreme Court to hear plea today

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a plea challenging the West Bengal government’s decision to release Rs 28 crore as a “gift” to the organisers of Durga Puja in the state. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi agreed to hear the plea after it was mentioned by advocate P.V. Dinesh for an early hearing.

The petitioners have challenged an October 10 order of the Calcutta High Court dismissing the plea against the grant of Rs 28 crore to Puja organising committees in the state. The petitioners Sourav Dutta and D. Banerjee – advocate at Calcutta High Court – have contended that the grant of public money goes against the tenets of secularism, which is a basic structure of the Constitution.

Since no public purpose would be served by granting money and/or handing out concessions to Durga Puja organisers, the petitioners have contended that the decision violates the provision of Article 282 of the Constitution and should be set aside. Further, there is no provision of law by which the State Exchequer could be utilised for giving gift to puja organisers, says the petition.


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