CHENNAI: A division bench of the Madras High Court on Friday allowed the immersion of Lord Vinayaka in water bodies by individuals and also the installation of idols outside their homes.
The court in its order also said that individuals celebrating the holy festival should follow the pandemic guidelines while immersing idols and no organisations would be allowed to hold any celebrations and processions.
Disposing of the plea, the two-member bench of justices MM Sundresh and R Hemalatha also observed that religious festivals are required to be celebrated and no community can be prevented from following its practices.
The bench passed the orders on the batch of pleas that challenged the state government order prohibiting people from installing idols in public places and processions.
Earlier in the hearing, G Karthikeyan submitted that the Hindu Munnani would not organise any processions related to the festival and would provide its full cooperation abiding by the orders of the state. Similarly, the Shiv Sena president Radhakrishnan also echoed the same.
The state advocate-general Vijay Narayan contended that relaxations cannot be provided as allowing this will result in things going out of hand creating law and order issues. The GO was passed by the state in view of the pandemic situation prevailing in the state as it will be difficult to control the crowds if processions are allowed, added the AG.
Recording the strong objection made by the state, the bench directed it to allow individuals to carry the idols for immersion in water bodies.
Following the Madras High Court’s order, the Hindu Munnani, issued a statement saying that the organisation would celebrate Vinayagar Chathurthi on Saturday and conduct the immersion of the idols on the same evening.
Earlier the outfit had said it would go ahead with public processions and worship. Its members have run into trouble with police over the past week for planning to or attempting to intall idols in public places.
However, on Friday, the organisation said that due to the pandemic it had decided against organising rallies and public worship of the deity on the occasion. "Based on the directions of the Madras High Court and discussions with the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and other officials, Vinayaka Chaturthi celebrations will be conducted in a cautious manner," the statement said.
Therefore idols of Lord Ganesha will be installed in houses, private places and temples without public participation. But, the immersion of the idols after the Chaturthi celebrations will be conducted on the same day (August 22), the organisation said.