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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Everyone has right to celebrate festivals peacefully, says Allahabad HC

While hearing a petition filed by members of the Christian community, the Allahabad high court said every citizen had the right to celebrate festivals in a peaceful manner.

india Updated: Dec 22, 2017 23:42 IST
Jitendra Sarin
Jitendra Sarin
Hindustan Times, Allahabad
Christmas gifts seen at a market in Chandigarh. (Karun Sharma / HT Photo)
Christmas gifts seen at a market in Chandigarh. (Karun Sharma / HT Photo)

The Allahabad high court on Friday said every citizen had the right to celebrate festivals in a peaceful manner and the authorities should not be reluctant in giving their consent, if permitted by law.

The bench comprising chief justice DB Bhosale and justice MK Gupta made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by Sanjay Singh and 34 members of the Christian community from Birner village in Kaushambi.

The petitioners said the local administration had imposed Section 144 of the CrPC during the local bodies’ election prohibiting assembly of more than four people in the village.

They alleged that the administration officials were not allowing them to celebrate Christmas on the pretext that prohibitory orders were still in force.

The bench said Section 144 of the CrPC was imposed for the election time only and the petitioners would not face any difficulty in Christmas celebrations.

During the course of hearing, standing counsel of the state government raised the issue of loudspeakers during Christmas celebrations to which he court asked: “If loudspeakers are being used as per norms and only till the time it is permissible in law, how can you deny permission?”

The counsel for the petitioners said their application (dated December 16) seeking permission to celebrate Christmas between December 24 and 31 was pending before the district administration.

“Since Friday is the last working day and the court will remain closed till January 1, a directive should be issued to the administration regarding grant of permission for Christmas celebrations,” the counsel said.

The court directed the authorities to consider the application filed by petitioners on or before Monday, in accordance with law.

Earlier, the Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) had asked Christian missionary schools in Agra and Aligarh not to ‘force’ Hindu students to celebrate Christmas.

The RSS, however, distanced itself from the advisory.

First Published: Dec 22, 2017 23:42 IST