The Bombay High Court has rejected two petitions for reopening temples or places of worship during the COVID-19 pandemic citing life and public health implications. The Court’s judgment came on the Jain Gyanmandir Trust’s petitions and another person Ankit Hirji. “God is within us, and God is everywhere, cannot allow prayer to reopen of places worship at this stage,” the Court said in its order. The bench of Justices S.J. Kathawalla and Madhav J. Jamdar said: “It was with great reluctance” that the Court rejected the petition. In the case, the two petitioners had sought urgent relief from the Court to allow puja in temples during the Paryushan, an auspicious period for Jains.
The Court has held: “… it is the duty of every right-thinking person at this stage to balance their religious duties with public duty, and their responsibility towards the rest of humanity. In this regard, we again repeat what we have already told the petitioners at the time of the hearing, that ‘God is within us’ and ‘God is everywhere.”