The Christian community will observe Good Friday on April 19.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has ordered a compulsory holiday on Good Friday at Dadra, Nagar Haveli, Diu and Daman. The petitioner argued that there were only 2 per cent Catholics in the region and the principle of secularism did not depend on the population but on the sentiments of the minorities.
The Central government told the court that there was a cap of 17 holidays in the year but it had no objection if the court were to order that one more day be added.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice N.M. Jamdar was hearing the petition challenging a notification issued by the collector of Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Diu and Daman, making “Good Friday” an optional inste-ad of compulsory holiday for government employees. The Christian community will observe Good Friday on April 19.
According to the petition filed by one Anthony Francisco Duarte through his advocate, “This is the first instance in the history of the union territory (UT) that Good Friday has not been notified as a public holiday. Ever since these territories came under the Indian Union, it has always been declared as a public holiday.”
It was also argued that the sentiments of the minority community and the Christians had been outraged. “The Christian community celebrated only three religious holidays i.e. Good Friday, Christmas and Easter, out of which, only two of them had become effective since Easter always fell on a Sunday. Therefore, excluding Good Friday from the list of compulsory holidays was highly discriminator,” the petition stated.
The petition also stated that the authority had for the current year granted a total of ten holidays for the Hindu community, out of which two were new additions. Such additions had been made at the cost of Good Friday and Eid-e-Milad–un–Nabi, it argued.