Kolkata: In a major relief for the Mamata Banerjee government, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday refused to interfere in West Bengal government's decision to give Rs 10,000 each to 28,000 Durga puja committees in the state.
An interim stay granted by the court on disbursal of funds stands vacated as the court disposed of the public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the state government's decision to give funds to the puja committees.
The state had argued that the order to fund puja committees in Bengal by the Mamata Banerjee government was an executive order.
The West Bengal government on Tuesday told the high court that it cannot interfere in a legislative decision on granting funds to Durga puja committees, after a petitioner claimed that it is a violation of the secular structure of the Constitution.
The petitioner claimed that it was a dole to the puja committees and had no public purpose.
On September 10, Banerjee, while addressing the coordination meeting with puja committees and police, had announced a package of Rs 28 crore across the state - 3,000 in the city and 25,000 in the districts.
On September 19, the chief minister’s decision to disburse money was challenged in the Calcutta high court. The division bench of the court asked the Mamata Banerjee government the grounds on which it was using the exchequer money for Durga puja celebrations and if there were any guidelines for the same.
The West Bengal Chief Minister had also announced a complete waiver of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) tax and fees required to fire licences for puja pandals.