30 Sep 2022 5:46 AM GMT
Granting permission to Ramdaspeth Plot Owners and Residents Association to organize its Navratri festival including dandiya and garba performances in a silence zone, the The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court recently said the religious celebration can still be performed in a purely traditional and religious way."Dandiya and Garba performances being intrinsic part of a religious celebration...
Granting permission to Ramdaspeth Plot Owners and Residents Association to organize its Navratri festival including dandiya and garba performances in a silence zone, the The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court recently said the religious celebration can still be performed in a purely traditional and religious way.
"Dandiya and Garba performances being intrinsic part of a religious celebration can still be performed in purely traditional and religious way, which do not contemplate use of modern gadgets like, music system, loudspeakers, DJ sound and the like", the court said.
A division bench of Justice Sunil Shukre and Justice Govind Sanap passed the order in a writ petition objecting to the organization of Navratra Festival wherein the petitioners are apprehending playing of loud music on DJ causing loud noise harmful to humans.
The court said that in Navratri celebrations presiding deity may have different names but these are outward manifestations of the fundamental energy called 'Shakti'. A form of 'Shakti' is worshipped in Navratri, it said.
The court noted that worship to goddess of Shakti is effective only when it is done with one pointed attention without any external disturbances. No offering of one pointed worship and devotion is possible unless there is full concentration of mind, said the court.
"…every offering of worship and devotion to the presiding deity of Navratra festival must be done with great care and a devotee must ensure that by his or her actions, the discipline and sanctity of the festival are not sacrificed", it added.
A true devotee would like to express his devotion and offer his worship to the deity without receiving any disturbance of any kind from the outside world and he himself would not cause any disturbance to others in his worship, said the bench
The basic issue involved in the petition was prohibition on use of music or sound system during celebration of religious festivals in a silence zone.
The Association is organizing Navratra festival, which includes dandiya and garba performances in a playground of Mor Hindi Upper Primary School. The school shares a common compound wall with a hospital.
The court said that the venue is a silent zone and therefore all restrictions in Rule 3(5) Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 would apply to the facts of this case.
"That means, no Dandiya and Garba performances can be permitted without imposing the prohibitions contained in said Rule," said the court
The court noted that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed and executed between the petitioners and the organisers of the festival in 2019 limiting the use of loudspeakers, sound systems etc. during the Navratri festival. Both parties should honour this MoU, said the court.
Court said that this MoU does not mean that there can be no celebration altogether and granted permission to the organizers to engage in Dandiya and Garba performances in a traditional and purely religious way without using any loud sound system or D.J. system etc.
"In addition, such celebration would also have to be consistent with provisions made in Rule 3(5) of the Rules of 2000, it being done in a silence zone," said the court.
Case no. – Writ Petition No. 5935 of 2022
Case title – Pawan Shamsundar Sarda and Ors. v. State of Maharashtra and Ors.
Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Bom) 361
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