Vijayawada: Andhra Pradesh High Court has directed the state government to allow Ganesh Chaturthi festivities at private places with all Covid norms.
However, the Court supported the AP government's decision to impose curbs on public functions owing to the COVID situation.
It may be recalled that the AP government had banned the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in public and private places to prevent the possible spread of the virus.
The AP government banned setting up Ganesh pandals in public places which created a furor.
A resident of Tirupati filed a writ petition in the AP High Court challenging the state government decision. In his prayer, he said the government's decision of not permitting Ganesh Pooja on September 10 in private places is illegal, arbitrary, and violative of Articles 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India.
The AP government submitted that there is no negligence in the implementation of Covid safety protocols and all the guidelines issued by the Centre are being implemented in toto.
These guidelines are being implemented for every religious event including the ensuing Ganesh Chaturthi. No permissions have been accorded for celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi in public places, the government said.
The High Court said there is nothing wrong with the state government imposing restrictions on public celebrations in the wake of the Covid situation in the state.
However, the Court directed the state government not to impose restrictions on setting up pandals in private places.
The High Court allowed setting up Ganesh pandals in private places and allowed five devotees at a time to perform pujas duly following Covid norms.