The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice in a plea registering protest against the conduct and broadcast of Ganesh Chaturthi by the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government (GNCTD) and seeking the derecognition of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). (Manohar Lal Sharma v. Union of India and ors).Notice has been issued by a Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Amit Bansal only to three respondents, i.e. the Central government, the GNCTD and the Election Commission of India (ECI), which was the eleventh respondent in the matter..The petitioner, Advocate ML Sharma has contended that since India is a secular country, no government can conduct any religious function, although individuals are free to practice and follow any religion of their choice. Substantial reliance, in this regard, was placed on the SR Bommai case..Sharma argued that the conduct of religious events by governments is not permitted by the Constitution. In this regard, he placed reliance on the inclusion of "Secular" in the Constitution's preamble. .Referring to the organisation and broadcast of Ganesh Puja this year by the Delhi government, Sharma said,"It was a joint effort by Delhi government with AAP … It is a clear violation of Constitution … I looking for de-recognition of the political party. They should be barred forever … The moment you kick out Constitution, you have no right to be in Constitutional office.".Appearing for GNCTD, Senior Advocate Rahul Mehra argued that Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations were conducted and broadcasted this year in public interest, to safeguard public health amid the COVID-19 pandemic. ."It has nothing to do with exchequer money. No one is being forced to telecast anything. No subsidy given to anyone of any kind. There is no violation of law. It is the solemn duty of the State and the Union to ensure that people of faiths, their public health is protected. There is absolutely nothing unconstitutional. There is absolutely no application of SR Bommai case. You cannot pick a line out of context", he submitted, in response to Sharma's arguments. .Mehra further contended that Sharma's plea was politically motivated, mischievous and liable to be dismissed with costs. .Appearing for the ECI, Advocate Sidhant Kumar submitted that the Commission is not vested with the power to de-recognise political parties on the ground pressed by Sharma. There are very limited grounds to de-register a political party once it has been registered under Section 29 of the Representation of People's Act, 1951, he said. .While the Court initially said that it is not issuing notice and only adjourning the matter for the respondents to give their answers on the issues pressed in the petition, it later issued notice to three of the respondents impleaded in the matter. .Notice has been made returnable by November 18. .On a related note, Sharma had earlier filed a similar petition days before Ganesh Chaturthi. However, the Court declined to entertain the plea, opining that it was filed "without doing any homework." All the same, the Court had allowed Sharma to file a fresh petition with proper averments. .Ganesh Chaturthi: Delhi High Court declines to entertain ML Sharma plea filed "without homework"