Title: Prakash Vs. The District Collector, Tirunelveli District.
Decided On: September 16, 2023.
W.P(MD)No.22892 of 2023.
Coram: Hon’ble Mr. Justice G.R. Swaminathan.
The Petitioner hails from Rajasthan. He and his team are presently in Palayamkottai for the purpose of making idols. He has made a few scores of Vinayaka idols. His grievance is that the third respondent, on instructions from the respondents 1 and 2 is preventing him from selling the idols that have already been made. The petitioner is said to have borrowed a substantial sum. If he is unable to sell the idols, he will be financially ruined. For forbearing the respondents from interfering with his right, the present writ petition came to be filed.
Legal Analysis and Decision:
If the idols are eco- friendly, they can be manufactured and sold and such activities cannot be stopped for any reason. If the police or the authorities indulge in any act of prevention, that would be rank illegality. They will have to answer if the aggrieved individual invokes public law remedy. Damages will have to be paid for the business loss caused. The petitioner claims that the plaster of paris has been used only up to permissible level. According to him, the buyers may want the same for any purpose. They could be installed at homes or temples or even marriage halls. While I endorse the said contention, I make it clear that immersion of idols containing plaster of paris cannot be permitted. But their sales cannot be prevented by the authorities. In order to ensure that the norms regarding immersion are not violated, the petitioner is directed to furnish the details of the purchasers. Sale of every idol will have to be duly accounted. The petitioner shall make an register containing particulars of those who are purchasing from him. The register shall be open for inspection by the respondents. If the Vinayaka idol can be dissolved in an ecofriendly manner, its installation cannot be stopped. Visarjan can be in any creative manner. In any event, Tamirabarani or any water body cannot be used for immersion of idols made with plaster of paris. The petitioner as an artisan is entitled to sell the articles made by him and this right is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India. The restraint on immersion is reasonable restriction. But prevention of sale would amount to violation of the petitioner’s fundamental right. The respondents shall not prevent the petitioner from selling the idols made by him. Ofcourse the sale transactions are subject to the condition mentioned above.
The Held that Lord Vinayaka symbolizes luck. He is worshipped by Hindus who believe that He will remove all obstacles. It was the great patriot Sri. Bal Gangadhar Tilak who organized Ganesh Chaturthi Processions. They have helped to unify the society by cutting across caste differences. The right to organize Vinayakar Chaturthi processions is not the subject matter of this writ petition and the court refrained from going into the issue.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY JANGAM SHASHIDHAR.