To enable the devotees to witness "Soorasamharam" as well as "Thirukalyanam of Lord Muruga", the Madras High Court on Thusrday (19th November) directed the authorities to permit all the Television Channels to cover the above Festivals live and that there should not be any discrimination among the Television Channels.
The Bench of Justice N. Kirubakaran and Justice B. Pugalendhi further directed the authorities to give fair opportunity to all Television Channels to cover the Festivals, so that, the sentiments of the devotees can also be addressed by the authorities.
A Writ Petition was filed by the petitioner for directions to the respondents to let them conduct Soorasamharam at Beach on 20.11.2020 and Thirukalyanam at Thirukalyana Mandapam on 21.11.2020 during Skanda Sasti festival 2020 at Arulmighu Subramaniya Swamy Thirukovil, Tiruchendur, Thoothukudi District within a stipulated time as fixed by this Court.
It was contended by the Petitioner that the temple authorities are going to conduct Soorasamharam and Thirukalyanam within the precincts of the temple contrary to the practice of conducting the Soorasamharam at Beach and Thirukalyanam at Thirukalyana Mandapam during the Skanda Sasti Festival, 2020 at Arulmighu Subramaniya Swamy Thirukovil, Thiruchendur.
It was further submitted that the Ancient Scripture Skandapurana was brought from Nepal and it was translated in Tamil by Katchiappa Sivachariar.
According to the Sixth Kandam viz., Porpuri Kandam, a battle with Surapadma has to be conducted only in Beach and it is a tradition being followed for decades together.
Contrary to that, it was submitted, the temple authorities are going to conduct the same within the precincts of the temple.
It was further submitted that after giving a representation to the respondents, dated 16.11.2020, the petitioner came forward to file the instant Writ Petition.
To this, the Court said,
"The decision taken by the authorities to conduct the Soorasamharam within the precincts of the temple cannot also be found fault, in view of the pandemic situation."
The Court also remarked,
"The authorities are also supposed to follow the Standard Operative Procedures and the devotees cannot also be allowed to congregate in one place. It will violate the Standard Operative Procedures and cause speedy spread of COVID-19 Pandemic Virus, which is threatening the entire World."
Significantly, the Additional Advocate General appearing for the respondents submitted before the Court that "now programme has been changed and the Soorasamharam is to be conducted only on the Seashore as usual on 20.11.2020 and Lord Muruga's Thirukalyanam is to be conducted within the Thirukalyanana Mandapam on 21.11.2020."
In this context, the Court said,
"In view of the above submission made, without participation of the devotees, the Soorasamharam is to be conducted in the Seashore."
Accordingly, the prayer sought for by the petitioner was acceded and therefore, the Writ Petition was closed.
Case title - B.Ramkumar Adityan v. The District Collector and others [W.P.(MD)No.16537 of 2020]