Calcutta High Court.
The Calcutta High Court Wednesday refused to intervene in the West Bengal government’s decision to disburse Rs 10,000 to each of the 28,000 puja committees in the state, ahead of Durga Puja. The HC had Tuesday extended the interim stay on the Mamata Banerjee-led government’s decision.
The division bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Debasish Kar Gupta and Justice Sampa Sarkar, was hearing a petition challenging the government’s decision to provide funds for the festival. The bench was examining whether a taxpayer can question the modus operandi of expenditure after the state government had argued against it.
The HC had earlier stayed the decision and directed the state government to file a response with an explanation for the grants. Appearing for the state, Advocate General Kishore Dutta said the funds would be used by the committees to promote its ‘Safe Drive, Save Life’ campaign and ensure public safety.
The disbursal of funds is expected to cost the state government Rs 28 crore.