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No One Should Allege Bias, All Religious Places Should Remain Closed – Maharashtra Govt. Tells Bombay High Court In Jain Trust’s Petition

first_imgNews UpdatesNo One Should Allege Bias, All Religious Places Should Remain Closed – Maharashtra Govt. Tells Bombay High Court In Jain Trust’s Petition Sharmeen Hakim15 April 2021 4:57 AMShare This – xA day after the Bombay High Court refused a city mosque to open up for Ramadan prayers, the Maharashtra Government opposed a petition by two Jain trusts seeking permission for devotees to collect “pious boiled food” from the trust’s premises during the nine-day-long Ayambil fast. The State cited its April 13 circular, directing all religious places to remain closed for outsiders…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginA day after the Bombay High Court refused a city mosque to open up for Ramadan prayers, the Maharashtra Government opposed a petition by two Jain trusts seeking permission for devotees to collect “pious boiled food” from the trust’s premises during the nine-day-long Ayambil fast. The State cited its April 13 circular, directing all religious places to remain closed for outsiders for the safety of citizens, due to the surge in the Covid-19 cases in the State. It informed the court that devotees may congregate for food collection. “Yesterday the Court refused the mosque to open. There should not be bias alleged on the part of the State. Our stand is clear, all religious places should remain closed.” The division bench of Justices SC Gupte and Abhay Ahuja then proposed a “workable solution,” asking the petitioners if they can arrange for a team of volunteers to deliver the food, like food delivery aggregators Swiggy and Zomato. The Court noted that the petitioners were not seeking opening up of the temple for prayers. “The team can take orders online, and the team of volunteers can deliver. The idea is there should not be a congregation. Your community consists of many good individuals who can communicate,” the bench observed before directing the petitioners and the State to respond to its suggestion on Friday. Arguments Shree Trustee Atma Kamal Labdhisurishwarji Jain Gyanmandir Trust and Sheth Motisha Religious and Charitable Trust filed the petition in the HC with the main prayer to quash the state’s directive and allow them and “other 48 Jain trusts” to open the premises by following the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs). During the hearing, Advocate PB Shah submitted that the petitioners were not seeking opening up of the temple only that pious boiled food is served for nine days of the Ambil fast, so devotees should be allowed to come and collect the food from the trust. Their fast would begin on Monday, and they would require two days to prepare. “Last year we were allowed to serve food in the 4,000 sq feet dining hall, however this year we are only seeking permission for takeaways,” he said, adding, “Unfortunately, restaurants and bars are allowed, but religious trusts are not allowed,” Shah said. The court said that the prayer seemed “reasonable,” and asked the State to take instructions, while also allowing the petitioner to amend the petition. Counsel for the State Jyoti Chavan said that she had taken instructions and the State was opposed to opening any religious place for devotees. She pointed out that only 25 people were now permitted in marriages and only delivery of food was allowed. “People are not allowed in restaurants,” she said. Chavan clarified that the bench had disallowed opening up the mosque on Wednesday and the State’s stand was clear that all religious places should remain shut till May 1, 2021. She further submitted that people cannot be allowed to collect food as they will begin to congregate. The Bench has now posted the matter for hearing on Friday. Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more

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