In a recent decision, the Madras High Court discussed the need of demonstrating tolerance for diverse religious beliefs. The matter was between Paulraj vs District Collector and others. (W.P(MD).No.11276 of 2020 and W.M.P(MD).Nos.9856, 9857 and 9860 of 2020 and 15125 of 2021) and was presided over by Hon’ble Mr. Justice C.V. Karthikeyan.
FACTS OF THE CASE:
A Hindu man filed a plea in the High Court contesting the Kanyakumari District Collector’s approval of the church’s construction after the petitioner claimed loudspeakers were being used day and night, causing a nuisance.
The Court began its ruling by stating that “we the people” had decided to establish India as a Secular Republic in the Preamble to the Indian Constitution. Reference was made to Article 15(1), which states that the State is prohibited from discriminating against anybody based on things like religion, and Article 51A(e), which states that it is every citizen’s fundamental duty to advance peace and fraternity. The courts, which decide cases involving religion, are bound by the Fundamental Rights and Duties.
The Court found that the same residential area also housed a temple. In light of this, the Court discussed the necessity of preserving tolerance and the significance of the principle of “unity in difference.”
The District Collector may convey to the individual who built the church that it is wise to exercise restraint and that using loudspeakers may not be necessary for God to hear the prayers by himself or via his subordinates, the Court further stated.
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JUDGMENT REVIEWED BY ADITI PRIYADARSHI