Approach state govt first, Alld HC on plea to open mosques for Eid
The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday disposed of a PIL seeking the opening of mosques/idgahs in Uttar Pradesh for offering jamaat/namaz on Eid-ul-Fitr for an hour, saying that the petitioner must first approach the state government in this regard.
The court said that on denial of the relief claimed or any unusual delay in considering the same, the petitioner shall be at liberty to approach the high court by filing a writ petition.
In the PIL, the petitioner, Shahid Ali Siddiqui, a lawyer, had requested the court to direct the state government to open a mosques/idgahs situated in Uttar Pradesh state for offering jamaat/namaz of Eid-Ul-Fitr and Dova in congregation for one hour (from 9:00 am to 10:00 am) and future Juma (Friday) namaz till June, 2020.
Disposing of the PIL, a division bench comprising chief justice Govind Mathur and justice Siddhartha Varma observed, “On going through the averments contained in the petition, it does not appear that the petitioner before approaching this court had made any demand to the state government for redressal of the grievance.”
“It is well settled that a party seeking writ in the nature of mandamus must first approach the authority competent for redressal of the grievance. In view of it, we are not inclined to interfere in the matter at this stage,” the bench observed.
The petitioner has taken the plea that different relaxations are being given by the government in the lockdown for other worldly matters but no relaxation has been given in the matter of worship in different religions.
According to him, Eid-ul-Fitr is to fall on May 24/25 and for celebrating it, the Muslims be permitted to go to idgahs/different mosques for an hour from 9 am to 10 am adhering to social distancing. Further, restrictions like entry only to 20 to 50 persons may be allowed for Friday namaz prayer or for daily five time in mosque for namaz and Dova in congregation till June 30, 2020.