Prasenjit Das, Editor in Chief India –
A day after Calcutta High Court refused to interfere in a controversial West Bengal government order offering Rs 10,000 each to 28,000 Durga Pujas of the state, the appellants knocked the doors of the Supreme Court against the High Court order on Thursday.
The apex court bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice S K Kaul and Justice K M Joseph agreed to hear the case and set the date of hearing on Friday.
The Calcutta High Court had on Wednesday quashed the petition against the state government order and said it will not intervene in the legislative matters. Meanwhile, the state government has started offering the cheques of Rs 10,000 to the Durga Puja committees across the state on an emergency basis before the hearing of the case at the apex court.
West Bengal Chief Minister had on September 10 announced Rs 10,000 each to 3,000 Durga Pujas in Kolkata and 25,000 Durga Pujas in the districts, which was challenged at the High Court on September 19 in a petition stating that the order was unconstitutional against the secular principles of the country and was a misuse of government funds.
When the High Court division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Debashish Kar Gupta and Justice Shampa Sarkar wanted to know from the state government on which basis it was using exchequer money and whether any guidelines were followed or whether the doles were only for Durga Puja or for festivals of other religions as well, the state government lawyer stated that they were answerable only to the legislature and the CAG.