On Wednesday (April 14, 2021), the Bombay High Court heard the petition of the Zuma Masjid Trust for offering prayers in mosques during the month of Ramadan. In this petition, the Trust, along with 50 people, offered 5 times of Namaz Had asked for permission. However, the court heard the case saying that even though the right to follow religious practices is important, the safety of people during the Kovid epidemic is the most important.
On hearing this petition of Juma Masjid Trust, the Division Bench of Justice RD Dhanuka and VG Bisht refused to accept the demand made in the petition. The petitioner in the court said that the mosque is spread over an acre and more than 7 thousand people can gather in it at one time. But in view of the corona infection, fifty people should be allowed to offer namaz at a time in the mosque.
It was also stated in the petition that the trust will fully follow the Kovid-19 protocol and precautions during this period. Raising his demand, the petitioner had cited the example of the Delhi High Court’s April 12 ruling, where the Namaz was allowed with protocol.
Government lawyer said- We cannot make an exception for any religion
During the hearing, advocate Jyoti Chavan, appearing for the state government, opposed the demand raised in the petition. He said that it should not be granted in view of the increasing cases of Corona. She said,
“We cannot make an exception for any religion, especially in this 15-day ban period. We cannot afford this level. All citizens should cooperate at this time. “
Jyoti Chavan said that the government did not stop anyone at home from doing their religious work. The state is currently struggling with a shortage of vaccines and oxygen. In such a situation it would not be appropriate to allow social functions. Opposing the petition, the government lawyer said that the situation in Delhi and Maharashtra is different. The order of Delhi High Court cannot be considered in this state.
After hearing arguments from both sides, the Bombay High Court admitted that Corona is in an uncontrollable state in the state and that stringent measures are necessary to prevent its infection. The court said in view of the situation,
“Given the current situation in Maharashtra and the ground reality, we cannot allow the petitioner to offer namaz in the mosque. The state government’s ban order is in the public interest and for the safety of all the residents of Maharashtra. “
In view of the grave situation arising out of the epidemic, the court said the right to follow and celebrate religious practices is important but the protection of civilians during the Kovid epidemic is more important.
Curfew ban imposed in Maharashtra
It is known that after the confirmation of record breaking corona virus cases in Maharashtra, the state government has announced a stringent ban in some areas from April 13, in which religious places have also been closed for 15 days. It has also been said that people associated with religious places can discharge their duties. On Tuesday, CM Thackeray announced curfew-like restrictions in view of the conditions, saying that these rules will start from 8 pm on 14 April till 1 May.