The Delhi High Court has declined to entertain a plea challenging the ban on celebrating Chhath Puja on the banks of the Yamuna River, emphasizing that the restrictions are in place to prevent river pollution.
The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea challenging the ban on celebrating Chhath Puja on the banks of the Yamuna river, emphasizing that the restrictions are in place to prevent pollution in the river. The court’s decision came after the Delhi government informed the court that the ban was imposed to curb water pollution along the Yamuna’s banks during the Chhath Puja festivities.
Justice Subramanian Prasad, while hearing the plea filed by Chhath Puja Sangharsh Samiti, stated, “It’s for the purpose to prevent river pollution.” The court further noted that the counsel for the petitioner sought permission to withdraw the plea, and it was dismissed as withdrawn based on the request.
The Samiti had challenged the Delhi Disaster Management Authority’s (DDMA) notification dated October 29, 2021, which prohibited designating a site for the festival on the Yamuna’s banks. The petitioners argued that the notification violated fundamental rights and the right to worship, especially considering it was issued during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Advocate Vinay Dubey, representing the Samiti, pointed out that neighboring states such as Haryana and Uttar Pradesh were permitting the celebration of the festival on the riverbanks, while the DDMA was imposing restrictions on the residents of the national capital.
The Delhi government defended the ban by citing concerns related to water pollution caused by Chhath Puja rituals conducted on the Yamuna’s banks, providing the rationale for the restrictions imposed on the festivities.