14 Sep 2023 5:32 AM GMT
The Kerala High Court recently held that in order to maintain the sanctity and tranquility of the temples, it cannot permit putting up of saffron flags and festoons on temple premises.Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V., while refusing the plea by two devotees of the Muthupilakkadu Sree Parthasarathy temple to permit them to erect flags without any obstruction, observed:"Temples stand as beacons...
The Kerala High Court recently held that in order to maintain the sanctity and tranquility of the temples, it cannot permit putting up of saffron flags and festoons on temple premises.
Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V., while refusing the plea by two devotees of the Muthupilakkadu Sree Parthasarathy temple to permit them to erect flags without any obstruction, observed:
"Temples stand as beacons of spiritual solace and tranquility, their sanctity and reverence being of paramount importance. Such hallowed spiritual grounds must not be diminished by political maneuverings or attempts at one-upmanship".
The petitioners, who are stated to have formed an organization named 'Parthasarathy Bakthajanasamithi' for the welfare of the temple and its devotees, claimed that their attempts to put up saffron flags on the temple premises during special occasions and temple functions were obstructed by the respondents using their influence. They thus sought effective and appropriate police protection to be afforded to their lives and to enable them to peacefully conduct the temple rituals and decorate the temple premises with their flags without any obstruction.
The Government Pleader Appu P.S. argued that permitting the temple to be used as a battleground for political one-upmanship would only destroy the peace and sanctity associated with the temple. He added that there had been numerous clashes in the temple previously due to the actions of the petitioners, and that the 2nd petitioner herein in fact, had criminal antecedents and was involved in four criminal cases.
The counsel further submitted that the Administrative Committee of the temple had passed a resolution prohibiting the installation of flags, and banners, of any political parties or organizations within a radius of 100 meters of the Kanikkavanchi. He added that another Bench of the High Court had also earlier directed the police to remove all flags, boards, banners, and so on from the temple premises vide its judgment dated March 13, 2020, in Muthupilakkadu Sree Parthasarathy Kshetram Sabha & Anr v. State Police Chief & Ors.
The Court, on considering the submissions made by the parties, was of the view that the petitioners had not demonstrated any legitimate authority to conduct temple rituals, as prayed for, and that they could not be allowed to erect flags or festoons in or around the temple, in light of the earlier Orders issued by the Court as well as that by the Administrative Committee.
"The actions and intentions of the petitioners are clearly at odds with the serene and sacred atmosphere to be maintained in the temple," the Court added, while dismissing the plea.
Counsel for the Petitioners: Advocates P.T. Sheejish, A. Abdul Rahman, Aparna V. Devassia, and Hemanth H.
Counsel for the Respondents: Government Pleader P.S. Appu, and Advocates Mohan Lal B., Jayaprabha Arjun, Ajay S. Koshy, Aswin V. Nair, and Abijith M.
Citation: 2023 LiveLaw (Ker) 477
Case Title: R. Sreenath & Anr. v. State of Kerala & Ors.
Case Number: WP(C) NO. 28906 OF 2023
Click Here To Read/Download The Judgment