CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea seeking it to quash a Tamil Nadu government circular asking officials to perform 'yagna' for good seasonal rains, observing it cannot interfere with religious beliefs.
V Anbazhagan, who said he is the editor of a web magazine, had filed the plea against the circular issued in April by the commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, a government department which manages the temple administration in Tamil Nadu.
In the plea, he said promoting yagna for rain without saving rainwater, growing trees and removing encroachments on waterways, the state government was causing financial loss to the general public and religious institutions.
"The circular is without jurisdiction," he said, adding it is creating a situation whereby the rituals prescribed by the authority will spread irrational thinking.
The petitioner said the government can only indulge in secular activities and not profess to enforce the beliefs of a particular religion.
He said it was against the Constitution of India.
But the court said it cannot interfere with any religious beliefs or hopes.
"Whether pooja or other things performed are successful or failure, this court cannot destroy such belief or hope of the religions," a vacation division bench of justices C V Karthikeyan and Krishnan Ramasamy said, and dismissed the plea.