Ahead of the festival of Diwali, the division bench of Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Arijit Banerjee of Calcutta High Court directed police authority to take steps against selling and purchasing of firecrackers which have been banned in West Bengal as directed by the same court earlier. The court said that if police authority failed to take steps against the marketing and purchasing of the firecrackers, the concerned District Magistrate, Superintendent of Police, and Commissioner of Police will be held responsible.
However, Advocate General (AG) Kishore Dutta assured the court that the state administration will take proper steps to implement the court’s order.
The court also had suggestions for the Chatt puja festival, which is widely celebrated by the Bihari community. Police should have a public announcement system in areas to announce that only two persons can be allowed to perform Chatt this year in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These two persons only are allowed to go to the riverside and no procession can be allowed. Also, no DJ can play music and only small musical instruments can be used.
The court further ordered that Chatt puja celebrations in Rabindra Sarovar and Subhash Sarovar lakes will be banned.
The court went on to say that if the Supreme Court (SC) does not pass any order on the petition of Kolkata Municipal Development Authority (KMDA), then the order of National Green Tribunal (NGT) should be implemented in its totality. Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) councillors and local Municipal Councillors will campaign for this.
The court also said that on the day of Kali puja and Jogodhatri puja, the state administration and Railways will take decisions which are reasonable. If there is any difficulty in controlling the huge gathering, the state administration will take steps in accordance with the law, keeping in mind that air pollution should be controlled. Kolkata has recorded the Air Quality Index (AQI) which hovers in the range of 160-190.
The court ordered that the Director General of Police (DGP) and Commissioner of Police (CPs) will file a report with regard to carrying out the court order, one week after reopening of the court.