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No Reason To Deny Permission To Conduct Kanuparivettai Festival When Govt. Has Permitted Jallikattu: Madras High Court

Sparsh Upadhyay
9 Jan 2021 1:44 PM GMT
No Reason To Deny Permission To Conduct Kanuparivettai Festival When Govt. Has Permitted Jallikattu: Madras High Court
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Noting that the Government has permitted the theatres to open with 100 percent occupancy and Jallikattu is going to be conducted, the Madras High Court on Friday (08th January) directed the respondents to permit the conduct of Kanuparivettai Festival. The Bench of Justice G. R. Swaminathan remarked, "When the Government has permitted the theatres to open with 100 percent occupancy...

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Noting that the Government has permitted the theatres to open with 100 percent occupancy and Jallikattu is going to be conducted, the Madras High Court on Friday (08th January) directed the respondents to permit the conduct of Kanuparivettai Festival.

The Bench of Justice G. R. Swaminathan remarked,

"When the Government has permitted the theatres to open with 100 percent occupancy and Jallikattu is to be conducted, there is no reason to deny permission to the petitioner to conduct (Kanuparivettai Festival)"

[NOTE: The State government has now reversed its January 4 decision allowing 100% seating capacity in cinema halls. Instead, it has said that cinema halls can hold extra shows.

"Keeping in mind the Centre's recent recommendation and that a case is pending regarding this issue in the Madras High court, single-screen theatres and multiplexes inside malls will be allowed to function with 50% seating capacity. Based on the orders of the Madras High Court, theatres can screen extra shows," the G.O. said.]

The matter before the Court

The petitioner who filed the instant plea is one of the Hereditary Trustees of the Sri Melaramanuja Kooda Dharma Paribalana Sabai and the said Sabai conducts Kanuparivettai Festival every year.

The petitioner's apprehension was that in view of COVID-19 pandemic and other lock down restrictions, he may not be granted requisite permission.

The petitioner's counsel, further submitted that he would adhere to all the safety norms that may be prescribed by the District Administration as well as the Temple Administration.

To this, the Court said,

"The respondents (District Collector, Madurai District; Commissioner & Joint Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department; Assistant Commissioner/Executive Officer, Arulmigu Koodal Alagar Thirukovil, Madurai) are directed to permit the petitioner to conduct the petition mentioned event."

Interestingly, yesterday, while hearing the State's response in a batch of public interest litigation petitions challenging the Government Order (allowing the occupancy in movie theatres to be increased from the erstwhile 50% to 100%), the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court directed that 50% seating occupancy should be maintained in theatres till January 11.

While noting that pandemic does not bother about the consequential economic factors nor it respects boundaries, the Madras High Court yesterday directed,

"There couldn't be any permission to run the Multiplexes and Cinema Theatres over and above 50 % of the seating capacity, in the State of Tamil Nadu, till 11.01.2021, as the pandemic does not respect time."

A Division Bench of Justices M.M. Sundresh and S. Ananthi was hearing the petitioners contending that seating capacity in the Multiplexes and Cinema Theatres was raised from 50 % to 100 %, by the State of Tamil Nadu, without even getting adequate consultation from the Medical Experts.

Case title - A. Thirupathy v. The District Collector, Madurai District [W.P.(MD)No.362 of 2021]

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