Tamil Nadu

HC permits Vaitheeswaran temple consecration

The Madras High Court on Wednesday permitted Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) department to carry on with the consecration of Vaithyanadhaswamy temple at Dharumapuram in Mayiladuthurai, subject to strict adherence to COVID-19 protocols. The court recorded that no devotee would be allowed to participate in the consecration and that only 360 to 380 temple staff would take part with masks and by following physical distance norms.

Justice Anita Sumanth appointed IAS officer Vikranth Raja as an observer to monitor whether the COVID-19 protocols were followed strictly. The judge was also told by the temple administration that the consecration proceedings would be streamed live on YouTube so that the devotees could watch them from the comfort of their homes. The submissions were made during the hearing of a writ petition filed by a registered private society to postpone the consecration.

Tamil Nadu Thirukovil Thirumadangal Pathukappu Peravai, represented by its president Mayil alias A. Ravi, 52, had filed the case fearing that the consecration might fuel the already raging second wave of COVID-19. The petitioner’s counsel S. Doraisamy, assisted by V. Elangovan, contended that more than 360 people could not be allowed to participate in the consecration when a latest government notification restricts the number of participants in such events to just 50.

However, the HR&CE counsel told the court that the restriction applies only to devotees and not to the temple staff. He clarified that the government had permitted about 50 devotees to participate in such events over and above the number of temple staff. Nevertheless, it had been decided that no devotee or any other outsider would be permitted to participate in the Vaitheeswaran Temple consecration and that it would be conducted only in the presence of temple staff.

The entire temple was spread over 1.18 lakh square feet and it had 58,000 square feet of open space. The temple staff would be made to gather in the open space by maintaining physical distance and the entire proceedings would be recorded on video, the counsel told the court. He said the video would also be produced in the court for it to verify whether the protocols were followed strictly or not.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 2:39:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/hc-permits-vaitheeswaran-temple-consecration/article34379322.ece

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