Supreme Court To Hear Tamil Nadu Ganesha Idol Maker's Challenge Against Madras High Court's Idol Sale Stay Order
The Supreme Court is going to consider a plea today (Monday) from a Ganesha idol maker in Tamil Nadu's Tirunelveli.
The petitioner (idol maker) is challenging the Madras High Court's 17 September order, which has temporarily suspended an earlier order passed by a single-judge bench.
The stayed order allowed for the making and selling of idols while prohibiting the immersion of non-eco-friendly ones in water bodies.
Senior Advocate Shyan Divan brought up the matter before Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and requested an urgent hearing.
Divan explained the urgency, citing the upcoming Ganesh Chathurthi festival on 19 September.
Divan highlighted that a single bench of the Madras High Court had previously permitted the making and selling of idols on 16 September, but had not allowed the immersion of non-eco-friendly ones.
However, a division bench later stayed this decision.
A man named Prakash, originally from Rajasthan, and his team had been creating Ganesh idols in Palayamkottai, located in Tirunelveli district.
They had already made a significant number of idols but were prohibited from selling them by the authorities. As a result, Prakash approached the Madurai Bench of the High Court.
Despite his best efforts to prove otherwise, the petitioner claimed that police personnel threatened to shut down his shop and drove away customers and potential buyers.
This occurred during the period leading up to Vinayagar (Ganesh) Chaturthi when the petitioner was prevented from selling any idols.
The Madurai bench of the HC, in response to the petitioner's plea, acknowledged that while there may be a reasonable restriction on the immersion of idols, preventing the sale of idols would violate the petitioner's fundamental rights.
The judge stated, “If the idols are eco-friendly, they can be manufactured and sold and such activities cannot be stopped for any reason. If the police or the authorities indulge in any act of prevention, that would be rank illegality. They will have to answer if the aggrieved individual invokes public law remedy. Damages will have to be paid for the business loss caused”.
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