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May 19, 2024
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Model Code of Conduct Cannot Be Reason to Deny Permit for Temple Festival: Madras High Court Tells Police


Reported By: Salil Tiwari

Last Updated:

The high court directed the police to provide necessary protection to the petitioner for organising the dance and music programme for the temple festival, in accordance with the law. (Representational image)

The high court directed the police to provide necessary protection to the petitioner for organising the dance and music programme for the temple festival, in accordance with the law. (Representational image)

The court took note of the police’s rationale for rejecting the permit, citing the model code of conduct imposed during the ongoing general parliamentary elections. The HC observed that the election had concluded, with polling already completed in the concerned area

The Madras High Court recently set aside a police order that had refused permission for a music and dance event scheduled during a temple festival on May 18, 2024.

The petitioner, S Kesavan, filed a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, contesting the police’s denial of his application on April 29, 2024.

The single-judge bench of Justice K Kumaresh Babu took note of the police’s rationale for rejecting the permit, citing the model code of conduct imposed during the ongoing general parliamentary elections.

The court observed that the election had concluded, with polling already completed in the concerned area.

It further emphasised that such reasons could not be accepted for denying permission to conduct the temple festival.

In view of that, the bench quashed the denial order issued by the Inspector of Police, Valathi Police Station, in Villupuram District.

Consequently, it directed the police to provide necessary protection to the petitioner for organising the dance and music programme for the temple festival, in accordance with the law.

Last year on July 23, Justice N Anand Venkatesh of the Madras High Court refused to order the police to offer protection for a temple festival in Mayiladuthurai.

He had noted that the plea for protection had been filed as the petitioners apprehended a potential altercation between two factions asserting their rights over the temple.

To this, the judge had then observed that the purpose of a temple is to enable the devotees to worship God for peace and happiness; however, unfortunately, temple festivals were perpetuating violence.

He had underscored that in such cases, the time and energy of the police and revenue department was unnecessarily wasted.

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