Madras HC dismisses PIL against temple opposite CSI church

July 27, 2017 by  
Filed under India, newsletter-india

Madurai, July 26, 2017: Observing that “in a secular country like India, there is equal respect for all religions,” the Madras High Court Bench here on July 24 dismissed a public interest litigation petition filed against Aadi festival to be celebrated in a temple situated opposite a church at Kuttiyani in Ponmanai village in Kanniyakumari district.

The First Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice Pushpa Sathyanarayana said: “All persons, be they Hindus, Christians or Mohamedans, have a fundamental right to worship… and in the absence of contravention of any law, it is not for the court to interfere in religious matters.”

The Bench went on to state: “Nobody should be obstructed from going to St. John’s CSI Church. It is also not the case of the petitioner (T. John Bosco, a pastorate member) that there is any obstruction or impediment caused to people who go to the church. Hence, the petition is dismissed.”

In his affidavit, Mr. Bosco had accused one D. Leela, residing opposite the church, of having erected a stone pillar inside her house and worshipping it as the deity of her clan. He also alleged that she subsequently converted the pillar into a temple, named Sri Pathrakaliamman Temple, with the intention of disturbing peaceful worship in the church.

Wondering what objection could others have if someone was conducting prayers inside his/her house, the Chief Justice told the petitioner’s counsel during the course of arguments that courts could not interfere in such issues.

When the counsel contended that the road leading to the church and the temple was just four feet wide and it could not accommodate the vehicles of devotees who might visit the temple during the festival, Ms. Justice Banerjee pointed out to him that the same would apply to those who visited the church during Christmas and Easter.

“In our country, all religions must co-exist. She (Ms. Leela) naturally cannot do anything on the public road without the permission of the authorities concerned. But here she does not appear to have done anything of such sort.”

– hindu

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