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Madras HC Lifts Ban on Temple Festival Music and Dance Event

Madras HC Lifts Ban on Temple Festival Music and Dance Event

The Madras High Court overturned a police decision denying permission for a music and dance event planned during a temple festival on May 18, 2024.

S. Kesavan, the petitioner, lodged a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, challenging the refusal of his application by the Police on April 29, 2024.

Justice K. Kumaresh Babu, presiding over the single-judge bench, considered the police's rationale for denying the permit, which cited the model code of conduct enforced during the concurrent general parliamentary elections.

The court observed that the election had concluded, with polling already completed in the concerned area. It further emphasized that such reasons could not be accepted for denying permission to conduct the temple festival.

In light of this perspective, the single-judge bench nullified the Police's denial order issued by the Inspector of Police, Valathi Police Station, in Villupuram District. Consequently, it instructed the Police to offer requisite protection to the petitioner for organizing the dance and music program for the temple festival, in accordance with the law.

Last year, on July 23, Justice N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court declined to issue an order directing the Police to provide protection for a temple festival in Mayiladuthurai. He had noted that the plea for protection had been filed as the petitioners feared a potential conflict between two factions asserting their rights over the temple. 

To this, the Judge then observed that the purpose of a temple is to facilitate devotees in worshipping God for peace and happiness. However, unfortunately, temple festivals are perpetuating violence.

He had underscored that in such cases, the time and energy of the Police and Revenue department is unnecessarily wasted.

Case Title: S.Kesavan v. The Inspector of Police, Valathi Police Station




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