No stay on Puja doles; Ma­mata told to ‘ex­plain’

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - DNA Correspondent correspondent@dnain­dia.net

New Delhi: The Durga Puja dole of Rs 28 crore by the Ma­mata Ban­er­jee govern­ment got caught in a le­gal tan­gle in Supreme Court on Fri­day.

Although the Court did not pass any order stay­ing the dis­burse­ment of Rs 10,000 each to 28,000 Puja or­gan­is­ers, the judges gave six weeks for the state govern­ment to ex­plain how a govern­ment car­ry­ing out sec­u­lar func­tions could re­lease pub­lic funds for a re­li­gious cause.

Quot­ing Ma­mata, that the money was a “gift” from the state govern­ment, the PIL filed by a Kolkata res­i­dent Sourav Dutta won­dered how the state funds could be utilised for or­gan­is­ing an event purely re­li­gious in na­ture. The money had al­ready gone to the in­tended ben­e­fi­cia­ries – 3,000 Puja com­mit­tees in Kolkata and 25,000 across the state.

De­fend­ing the state be­fore a bench of Jus­tices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta was se­nior ad­vo­cate Kapil Sibal. He ar­gued the money was not paid to com­mit­tees by the po­lice to en­sure ef­fec­tive traf­fic man­age­ment.

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