Delhi High Court: A Plea filed challenging ban imposed on Christmas and New Year

Christmas Law Insider

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: December 23, 2021 at 19:25 IST

Plea has been filed in the Delhi High Court which challenges the complete ban imposed by the Delhi government on religious gatherings at religious places during Christmas and New Year.

A circular was issued on December 22, 2021 directing the District Magistrates to make sure that all the Covid protocols are to be complied with and all the gatherings for celebrating Christmas and New Year be prohibited.

The ban was imposed by Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) due to the rise in number of Omicron and Covid-19 cases in the UT. So far, 64 Omicron cases have been detected in Delhi as per the Union Health Ministry.

The Plea was filed through Advocates Palak Arora, Amit Kumar, Manoj V George, Akriti Seth and Shilpa Liza George. The plea states that completely banning religious gatherings while allowing bars, restaurants, etc to remain open with 50% capacity and theatres with 100% capacity is violative of Article 14. Also, it is violative of Article 25 and 26 where the right to freedom to profess and practice religion is envisaged in the Constitution.

The plea seeks the permission to worship in Churches during Christmas and New Year which would be subject to the compliance of the Covid protocols.

On December 23, 2021; the DDMA has given a clarification that all the religious places shall remain open for prayers on Christmas and New Year. The order stated, “This is to clarify that all religious places temples, mosques, churches, gurudwara, etc are already permitted to open for visitors/devotees to offer prayers/devotion/celebrations within such places subject to strict compliance of related SOP and adherence of Covid-19 appropriate behavior.”

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