The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking a blanket restriction on the printing of photographs of Gods and Goddesses in newspapers [Advocate Firoz Babulal Sayyed vs. The Union of India & Anr.]..A bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice VG Bisht said that the High Court cannot issue such directions, pointing out that even the Supreme Court has ruled that it is not the function of the High Courts to legislate or direct the State to pass legislation."It is within domain of legislature & even executive. What the petitioner intends to have is legislation through a judicial order," the bench remarked. .The petitioner, advocate Firoz Babulal Sayyed, stated that he felt it was wrong that photos of Gods were featured in newspapers only for them to wind up on the roadside or in trash cans.He then claimed that the major goal of the petition was to discourage people from celebrating festivals in large numbers and as a result, prevent COVID from spreading."Moreover the purpose for preferring this petition now is Pandemic of COVID-19 since last 1 ½ years i.e. showing photos of Idols(Gods) in newspapers will encourage public to celebrate festivals in crowds and invite COVID-19 excess cases," the plea had said.The petition, which emphasised that this practice of publications must be halted immediately, called for a full restriction on the printing of images of Gods in newspapers. It was indicated that, given the current pandemic situation, modifications to the official gazette as well as the law would be required.The petitioner testified that he had gone through the News Papers (Price and Page) Act and discovered that neither local or national newspapers were complying with any of the stipulations.As a result, he stated that he preferred the petition for prohibition, enactment, and changes regarding such wrongful publications in newspapers, as well as to regulate the arbitrary workings of newspaper publishers.He informed the Bench that he had, on multiple occasions, asked local newspapers to not publish photos of Gods, but had to move Court since his efforts went in vain.The plea was filed through advocate Pritesh K Bohade.