The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the West Bengal government’s decision to grant Rs 28 crore to 28,000 Durga puja committees in the state. A Bench comprising justices M B Lokur and Deepak Gupta, however, agreed to examine whether a state, by exercising its discretionary powers, can grant money to ‘puja’ committees and issued notice to the Mamata Banerjee government and sought a reply within six weeks.
The plea challenging the government’s initiative stated that it was against the principle of secularism, which is the basic structure of Constitution and the action of the government may encourage communal passion.
The plea has been filed challenging the Calcutta High Court’s order refusing to interfere with the government’s decision to grant money to puja committees in the state. The plea said there was no provision of law by which the state exchequer could be utilised for giving gifts to puja organisers.