The plea by one Pratik Maitra stated that due to the surge in the number of Covid cases, the Kolkata International Film Festival had been postponed and educational institutions closed. Therefore, it is not the proper time to hold the Mela, he argued.
The counsel for petitioner submitted that on January 12, 2022, the number of new Covid cases in the State was 22,155. It was further pointed out that the infection rate is 30.86 per cent and a lockdown has been imposed in Jhargram district.
Therefore, the Mela should not be held especially when there is no tradition of holding it on a particular date or in reference to particular lunar and solar positions.
He informed the Court that the District Magistrate of Jhargram had ordered that all government and private offices in the district will remain closed from 6 AM to 10 PM on January 8, 10, 12 and 14, and only minimum staff will remain present for any emergency on those days.
“A further direction was issued that all markets, shops and establishments in Jhargram Municipality will remain closed from 6 AM to 10 PM on January 10, 2022,” the petitioner informed the Court.