The Supreme Court of India on Friday issued a notice to the West Bengal government on a plea challenging its decision to grant Rs 28 crore to Durga Puja committees, reported PTI. However, the bench of Justices Madan Lokur and Deepak Gupta refused to stay the government’s decision to fund the committees and said the amount must be distributed only through the state police.

The Trinamool Congress government has announced that it will distribute Rs 10,000 to Rs 28,000 to every Durga Puja committee in the state. The Calcutta High Court had permitted the state government to disburse the funds.

In his plea to the Supreme Court on Thursday, lawyer Saurav Datta alleged that the Mamata Banerjee-led government’s decision was against the established principle of law, and sought an urgent hearing. “The High Court failed to appreciate that there is no public purpose involved in organising Durga Puja, rather, it is a religious programme,” the plea said. The petitioners had also argued before the High Court that there were no guidelines for disbursing the amount.