ALLAHABAD: Every citizen has the right to celebrate festivals in a peaceful manner, the Allahabad High Court today observed after a group of Christian villagers alleged that they were not being allowed to celebrate Christmas by authorities on pretext of prohibitory orders.
"We hope that unless there are some law and order issues involved, authorities concerned will not decline permission to celebrate festival in the village," a bench comprising Chief Justice DB Bhosale and Justice MK Gupta said while allowing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Sanjay Singh and 34 others of Christian community from village Birner in Kaushambi.
The court directed the authorities to consider the pending application of petitioners, seeking permission to celebrate Christmas, on or before Monday in accordance with law.
According to the petitioners, they used to celebrate Christmas every year in their village. However, during urban local body election conducted recently, the administration prohibited assembly of people in the village by imposing Section 144 Cr PC.
The petitioners alleged that they were now not being allowed to celebrate Christmas "in the garb" of the prohibitory orders imposed by the local administration.
During the hearing, the counsel for petitioners pleaded that today is the last working day before Christmas and the high court will be closed till January 1, 2018.
Since, the petitionersÂ’ application dated December 16 seeking permission to celebrate Christmas between December 24 and December 31 is pending before district administration, the court may direct the administration to decide the same.
The court directed the authorities to consider the application filed by petitioners on or before Monday, in accordance with law.
It observed that every citizen has right to celebrate festivals in a peaceful manner and authorities should not show reluctance while granting permission for it, if permitted by law.