“The dance event is a recent creation and not borne out by any tradition”

The police alone are competent to decide whether permission can be granted to dance programmes during temple festivals. When the police deny permission, the court cannot interfere with the decision and issue a mandamus to the police to permit the event.

Justice B.Rajendran said this while dismissing a batch of writ petitions which sought a direction to the police stations concerned to permit the petitioners to conduct cultural/dance programmes during temple festivals in February and March.

According to one Periyasamy and others, the residents of their villages wanted to conduct dance programmes for the annual temple festival. They sent representations to the police stations concerned. As they were not considered, they filed the writ petitions.

Mr.Justice Rajendran said the representations, said to have been sent by the petitioners, could not be relied on in as much as they were either posted in the post office on the High Court premises or the GPO, whereas the petitioners were residents of Erode, Salem and Namakkal districts. Further, the petitioners had not stated the need for a dance programme during temple festivals. The dance event was a recent creation and not borne out by any tradition or culture.

It had been brought to the court’s notice that in many cases a particular organised group was utilised for the dance performance.

“Such dance programmes are conducted only to lure the young minds and to take them on a wrong path. It is also brought to the notice of this court that such dance festivals are conducted late in the night which results in a lot of chaos and problems in the area. Further, the audience for these dance programmes is mostly intoxicated, besides using the area where the dance programme is being conducted for unlawful activities. Such a practice has to be curbed.”

Above all, the court had been told that the police denied permission by citing law and order problem if such programmes were permitted.

The Judge cited a recent order of Justice V.Ramasubramanian in an identical case. The petitioners did not have a semblance of right to seek for a direction to the police.

They had not cited any statute which imposed an obligation or a public duty on the police to permit them to conduct such dance events.

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