CHENNAI: Refusing to pass any directions on the plea seeking to hold the Karthigal Deepam festival at the Tiruvannamalai temple, a division bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday observed that the district administration, district police and temple administration are the appropriate authorities to take a decision.
The two-member bench of justices M Sathyanarayanan and R Hemlatha closed the public interest litigation moved by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad seeking a direction to the temple authorities to conduct the Karthigai Deepam festival.
During the hearing on Wednesday, senior advocate ARL Sundaresan contended that the car festival should be conducted in the four mada streets around the temple and not inside the temple. “The purpose of
the festival is to bring the Utsavar (main deity) to the mada streets,” he added.
Arguing for the temple, advocate AK Sriram submitted that devotees in batches of 800 would be allowed to visit the temple during the Karthigai Deepam festival scheduled from November 17 to 28.
“Devotees will be permitted from 8 am at a two-hour interval. The entry to the temple closes by November 28 and none of the devotees will be allowed to enter from November 29 during Bharani Deepam and Maha Deepam,” he added.
Also, the entry would be restricted to temples of Annamalaiyar and Unnamalai, contended the counsel. The car festival would be conducted only inside the temple premises, he added.
The bench recorded the submissions and observed that it was up to the district administration, superintendent of police and temple administration to take a decision and the court could not interfere in it.
The bench added that the authorities had taken the decision only in the interest of the public during the pandemic.