Madras High Court: In a writ petition filed for directing the State (respondents) to grant police protection to conduct the Temple festival at Arulmigu Sri Rudhra Maha Kaliamman Aalaya on 14th year of Theemidhi Urtchava Celebration in Sirkali Town, to be held between 23-07-2023 and 01-08-2023. N. Anand Venkatesh, J. while expressing distress that the Court has to encounter writ petitions of this nature on a daily basis during the months where temple festivals are conducted in Tamil Nadu, refused to grant police protection for conducting the temple festival, and left it open to the parties to conduct the festival peacefully without their ego coming to the forefront.
Further, it said that if any law-and-order problem is created, the police shall immediately interfere and take action against all persons concerned and shall stop the festival from proceeding any further.
The petitioner claimed that he is the hereditary trustee of the temple, and that the festival has been conducted every year during the Aadi month. The petitioner wanted police protection to ensure that no untoward incidents take place during the festival. Since the representation was not considered, the present writ petition has been filed.
The Court said that there is no devotion involved in conducting these festivals and rather it has become a show of strength by one group or the other. This completely defeats the very purpose of conducting temple festivals. If temples are going to perpetuate violence, the existence of temples will have no meaning and in all such cases, it would be better to close those temples so that the violence can be averted.
The Court said that the time and energy of the Police and Revenue department is unnecessarily wasted in resolving dispute between the groups, who are fighting over their right to conduct the temple festival. The Police and Revenue have got other important functions to perform, and their time is wasted by trying to resolve the dispute between two groups who have no devotion to God and are more interested in showing their strength over the other. Thus, as per the Court the precious time of the Revenue and Police cannot be wasted in disputes of this nature.
Thus, the Court refused to grant police protection for conducting the temple festival.
[K. Thangarasu v. Secretary, 2023 SCC OnLine Mad 4861, Order dated 21-07-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Petitioner: Advocate P. Ayyaswamy;
For Respondents : Additional Public Prosecutor A. Damodaran.