HC refuses permission to body for Chhath Puja at Juhu beach in Mumbai

"We would not like to interfere with the order of the Collector (of Mumbai) refusing permission to Maan Ranglo," a cultural organisation, to organise the "Chhath Puja," said Justices R D Dhanuka and Gautam Patel. 

"No religion demands violation of High Court conditions," said the bench while dismissing a petition filed by the organisation challenging the order of the Collector refusing to give permission.

The judges upheld the order of the collector saying he was right in refusing permission as the organisation had violated conditions every year since 2008 because of which it had to forfeit its security deposit every time. However, the judges asked the organisation to apply to the collector next year for permission to hold "Chhath Puja" at Juhu beach, if it so desired.

Chhath Puja celebrations. File pic

The bench also asked the latter to consider its plea on merits after imposing additional safeguards to ensure that violations do not occur. One of the conditions violated by the petitioner last year was the construction of a huge stage of 35 by 30 feet for which no permission had been taken, observed the court.

The court also noted that three other organisations, namely, Bihari Front, Shri Ganesh Nehru Nagar Rahvasi Sangh and Chhat Utsav Mahasangh, had been given permission by the authorities to hold the "Chhath Puja" celebrations at Juhu beach as they had not violated any conditions earlier.

These organisations had also been refunded their security deposit as they had abided by all the conditions, Additional Government Pleader G W Mattos told the bench.

The High Court, in 2006, while hearing a petition seeking permission to hold Chhath Puja at Juhu beach, had imposed certain conditions. However, some of these conditions were violated by certain bodies and a contempt petition was filed in the same court.

The court thereafter imposed additional conditions in 2008 and also laid down a precondition of giving Rs one lakh security deposit.

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