KOLKATA: The High Court in Calcutta on Wednesday told the Bengal government that it could not block a citizen’s constitutional right to practice religion on the mere assumption that there could be disruption of law and order.
“Let them (Hindus and Muslims) live in harmony, do not create a line between them,” said Rakesh Tiwary, acting chief justice, referring to the government’s decision not to allow the immersion of idols Durga on October 1, when Muharram would be observed.
The interim judge called on the state government to provide a “concrete ground” for his decision to stop the immersion of the Durga idols after 10 pm on September 30 (Vijaya Dashami Day) and completely reject him on 1 October. imposing restrictions, “he said.
The court hearing three PILs, which have defied the restrictions imposed on the immersion of idols, is expected to give its verdict on Thursday. But his Wednesday remarks were categorical: a mere assumption that a law and order situation could arise because Dashami and Muharram fell consecutive days could not be the basis for imposing restrictions on immersion times.
“If you say that there is complete harmony, are not you (the state administration) creating a line of division between the two communities by their action?” asked Judge Harish Tandon.
“People have the right to practice their religious activities, whatever their community, and the state can not put restrictions unless it has concrete ground to believe that two communities can not live together,” said the acting judge.