CHENNAI: A vacation bench of the Madras High Court has rejected a plea to quash a circular of the HR&CE department directing the authorities of all temples in the State under its control to hold yagnas for rain.
The court cannot interfere with religious beliefs and hopes, the bench of Justices CV Karthikeyan and Krishnan Ramasamy said while dismissing the PIL petition from V Anbazhagan, who claimed himself as a journalist and activist, on Wednesday.
This court cannot interfere with religious beliefs or hopes. Whether poojas or other programmes conducted are successful or a failure, the court cannot destroy such beliefs or hopes of religions, the bench said.
The petition sought to quash the circular, dated April 26 last, of the HR&CE Commissioner to all Joint and Deputy Commissioners and other officials to perform poojas, yagnas and japams for good seasonal rains.
It said the circular is against the Constitution and against secularism. The Tamil Nadu government is indulging in religious activities of a particular faith, it claimed. Its action has diluted the object of the HR&CE Act.
The circular was issued without jurisdiction and power, the petitioner said. It has created a situation in which such rituals on a large scale will spread irrational thinking and hinder rational and progressive thinking of a common man, the petitioner contended.
Without enforcing the schemes to save rainwater, grow trees, increase green cover and remove encroachments on waterbodies, the State government was promoting yagnas for rain, causing financial loss to the exchequer, the petitioner added.