The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to interfere with the AAP government’s decision to ban Chhath Puja celebrations at public places like ponds and riverbanks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The high court said the third wave of the infection was already underway in the national capital and allowing a large gathering would result in people becoming “super spreaders”.
A bench of Justices Hima Kohli and Subramonium Prasad dismissed a petition by Durga Jan Seva Trust, challenging the November 10 order of chairman of Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) not to allow any gathering in public places for Chhath Puja on November 20.
The trust sought permission to hold a gathering of 1,000 people for Chhath Puja.
To this, the bench remarked, “Oh really! Today when the Delhi government is not allowing marriages with over 50 persons, you want only 1,000 persons. How come?”
The bench said the authorities passed the order after considering the spread of infection in Delhi and the petition was meritless.
“In today’s day and time, such a petition is belied by the ground reality,” the bench said, adding that the petitioner should have taken into consideration the current circumstances in the city.
The high court said it appeared that the petitioner is not alive to the COVID-19 situation.
“The infection rate is hovering between 7,800 to 8,593…the death rate is in double figures. There are 42,000 active cases,” it noted.
Chhath Puja is celebrated by thousands of people in the capital, especially those from Bihar and eastern Uttar Pradesh.