The Supreme Court today asked the Maharashtra government whether the Nanded Gurudwara can be permitted to hold Dussehra festivities and the Guru Granth Sahib procession at 5 am, with limited gathering..The Court has asked the State Disaster Management Authority to take a decision depending on the current COVID-19 scenario. The Gurudwara authorities have been asked to approach the Secretary of the Disaster Management department.The Gurudwara management has also been asked to submit a request for the same, and move the Bombay High Court if not satisfied..A Vacation Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and Hemant Gupta passed the order while hearing a plea filed by the Nanded Sikh Gurudwara Sachkhand Shri Hazur Abchalnagar Sahib Board seeking permission to conduct the Dusshera, Takht Isnan, Deepmala and Gurta Gaddi events as per the three centuries-old custom maintained by the Gurudwara..Through an affidavit, Maharashtra government had told the Apex Court that allowing the Nanded Gurudwara to hold the Dusshera procession as per custom will not be a "practically feasible option" amid COVID-19. It was also submitted that the State has taken a conscious decision to not allow religious functions to check the spread of the virus..Appearing for the petitioner today, Advocate Praveen Chaturvedi argued that since the state government had allowed marriages to be performed with 50 people in attendance, the procession can be allowed with 40 to 50 people.Chaturvedi further submitted that the truck carrying the holy Akal Takht would have a camera which would "live telecast the procession.".The Bench sought to know why the State couldn't impose a curfew like the one which was imposed in Puri for the Jagannath Yatra procession. "In Puri also there was a restriction, but many people turned up. Processions are not being allowed now. You can have only 40 to 50 people but what about the people on the road? What if people come and attend the procession?".Entry points to Puri to be closed, curfew to be imposed: The Supreme Court's conditions for allowing the Jagannath Rath Yatra.Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, stated, "The procession is 1.5 km, they could consider holding it between 7-9 am so that only the persons participating in the ritual are there and passers-by are not involved.".However, the Court asked how the State can give permission for one festival and ban others.."But Maharashtra says so many festivals which involved processions have been banned. They have said when Ganesh Chaturthi etc were banned, then how can the State allow this other festival...others too will also ask for permission. Would you be giving permission for one festival to give way to others?"Justice Rao.The Maharashtra government then took the refuge of the Amarnath Yatra order recently passed by the Apex Court, arguing that law and order is a State subject. It submitted,."Look at the Amarnath case order of the Supreme Court. It said clearly that it is for the state government to consider all of this. Centre's guidelines are guidelines. It is for the states to consider the situation. Maharashtra has borne the brunt of COVID-19 cases. Consider the danger of allowing gatherings. 40 persons of a family came together in Kalyan to celebrate in one house. One of them was COVID positive, and 38 members of the family became positive after this.".It was further argued,"The parameters of judicial review must be kept in mind. Assessment of the situation is based on the ground reality. It's within the administrative authority of the state. Court's jurisdiction comes in if the decision making is done arbitrary manner. But here, the decision-making is based on ground reality.".When the Court insisted to know why a curfew cannot be imposed, the State argued that it was "not about curfew or barricades". "Hundreds of people will come from across the country. Crowd control will not be possible.".In its affidavit, the State submitted that as on October 16, the total population affected by COVID-19 in Maharashtra was 15,76,062, and the total number of deaths registered on account of the virus are 41,502. The state government said that in Nanded district, the number of persons affected by COVID-19 is 18,167, and the total number of deaths is 478. In Nanded Municipal Area, the number of persons affected by COVID-19 is 8,375 and the total number of deaths is 224. .It further referred to several festivals including Gudhi Padwa, Ram Navami, Mahaveer Jayanti, Easter Sunday, Buddha Purnima, Ramadan Eid, Bakri Eid, Dahi Handi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Moharram and Navratri that were being performed by citizens by staying at home, so as to contain the spread of the virus. Thus, "there is no reason at all, much less just and proper to carve out an exception for the petitioner"..The state had further submitted that there is no violation of the fundamental rights and the right to practice and propagate religion under Article 25 has been made subject to public order, morality and health, under the Constitution itself. The affidavit reads,"Thus, if the deponent is able to satisfy this Court that the decision of prohibition of holding any religious function and prohibition on the congregation is taken considering the health aspect of the citizens more particularly during the present pandemic situation, in such case, certainly right under Article 25 of the Constitution, which is subject to health, will not be available.'