The 10-day Ganesh festival will begin on August 22. This year's celebrations in Maharashtra will be severely impacted due to Covid-19 outbreak.
The Supreme Court on Friday said that the Ganpati festival in Maharashtra cannot be allowed in view of the coronavirus outbreak, news agency ANI reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde said that the festival involves large congregations and no concessions can be given.
The apex court made this observation while allowing Jain temples at Dadar, Byculla and Chembur in Mumbai to open for worshipers for the last two days of Paryushan on August 22 and 23. The court said the Centre’s standard operating procedure (SOP) should be followed strictly on opening of religious places.
“This concession cannot be applied to any other temple or for Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations which involve large congregations,” the top court said.
“We must make it clear that the order in this case does not extend to any other trust or any other temples. Our order is not intended to apply in any other case, particularly which involves a large congregation of people which by their very nature cannot be controlled,” the CJI said.
The court also particularly referred to Ganesh Chaturthi and said that the state government will be dealing with those matters on merits.
“Permission for Ganpati festival will have to be taken on case-to-case basis from Maharashtra Disaster Management Authority,” the SC said.
The top court was hearing an appeal against the Bombay High Court order which had said that it did not wish to interfere with the state’s decision of not to permit Jain temples in Mumbai to open for devotees to mark the eight-day Paryushan festival from August 15 to 23 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.