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The petitioner's contention was that "Chhath Pooja" and the rituals relating to it are observed for over four days and include bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, standing in water and offering prayer and 'Arghya' to the setting and rising sun, therefore, cleaning the river was necessary
The Allahabad High Court recently rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) that sought directions to the UP Government and relevant authorities to clean the Banks of the Hindon River and the River itself at Ghaziabad so as to facilitate the Devotees to perform the "Chhath Pooja" commencing from November 19, 2023.
The division bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava dismissed the PIL but allowed the petitioner, Mahant Mukesh Goswami, the option to approach the appropriate authority to address his concerns.
The petitioner's contention was that "Chhath Pooja" and the rituals relating to it are observed for over four days and include bathing, fasting and abstaining from drinking water, standing in water and offering prayer and 'Arghya' to the setting and rising sun, therefore, cleaning the river was necessary.
While acknowledging that there was some delay in filing the writ petition as 'Chhath Pooja' was to commence from November 19, the petitioner's counsel submitted that the petitioner had already approached the District Magistrate for redressal of his grievance and the Magistrate be directed to consider the said grievance, in accordance with law.
On the other hand, the State's counsel contended that, apart from delay in filing the writ petition, on merits also the petitioner had no case and the devotees could still perform the 'Pooja' even without wading in the River Hindon instead by creating artificial water tubs or using alternate sites such as reservoirs, ponds etc.
Given these arguments, the court opined that "be that as it may, the relief as prayed for by the petitioner could not be granted at the present stage in the present writ petition" and therefore, dismissed the same.
However, the division bench left it open to the petitioner to approach the competent authority for the redressal of his grievance.
Case Title: Mahant Mukesh Goswami Prachin Shani Dev Mandir Ganga Ghat v. State Of U.P. And 3 Others
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