Can’t prevent midnight darshan on New Year: HC

Says no urgency to pass interim order as ‘new years come every year’

The Madras High Court on Thursday refrained from passing an interim order restraining the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department from permitting temples under its control to be kept open for darshan during the intervening night of December 31 and January 1 to usher in the New Year.

A Division Bench of Justices M.S. Ramesh and G.R. Swaminathan, however, ordered notices to the State government as well as the HR&CE Commissioner returnable by January 8. When the petitioner, A. Ashvathaman, insisted on an interim order, Justice Ramesh said there was no urgency since “new years come every year.”

Justice Swaminathan too joined him to say: “Don’t worry, the matter will be taken up next year.” In his affidavit, the petitioner, an advocate, had claimed that it was against the Agama Sastras (religious prescriptions) to keep temples open during midnight for welcoming the New Year as per the Gregorian Calendar.

He contended that Saivite and Vaishnavite temples could remain open for midnight darshan only during Mahashivaratiri and Vaikuntha Ekadasi respectively. He also argued that the first of the Tamil month of Chithirai was the actual new year for Hindus in the State and not the western New Year that falls on January 1.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 6:51:55 AM |

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