Thu, 21 Sep 2023

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], September 17 (ANI): The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has directed the administration not to prevent the sale of Plaster of Paris Ganesha idols based on revised guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board.

The bench observed that immersion of idols containing plaster of paris in water bodies cannot be permitted but their sales cannot be prevented by authoritiesGanesh idol makers and sellers have been facing the wrath of the state for the last few days for alleged violations of environmental norms.

Prakash, a Ganesha idol maker from Rajasthan, filed a case to immediately allow the sale of Ganesha idols banned by the district administration in Tirunelveli district. The case came up for hearing before Madras High Court Madurai bench Judge GR Swaminathan on Saturday.

"I make it clear that statues made with plaster of Paris cannot be allowed to immersion. But the authorities cannot prevent their sale," the judge observed.

"In order to ensure that the norms regarding immersion are not violated, the petitioner is directed to furnish the details of the purchasers. The sale of every idol will have to be duly accounted. The petitioner shall make a 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 eco-friendly manner, its installation cannot be stopped," he added.

Justice Swaminathan said the restraint on immersion is a reasonable restriction. But prevention of sale would amount to a violation of the petitioner's fundamental right, which is guaranteed under Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution.

Ganesh Chaturthi, a ten-day festival that starts on the fourth day of the Hindu lunisolar calendar month 'Bhadrapada', will start on September 19 this year. This auspicious ten-day festival starts with 'Chaturthi' and ends on 'Anantha Chaturdashi'.

It is celebrated with much fanfare in Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra with lakhs of devotees converging into mandals to seek blessing from Lord Ganesh.

For the festivities, people bring Lord Ganesh idols to their homes, observe fasts, prepare mouth-watering delicacies, and visit pandals during the festival. (ANI)

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