[Ganesh Chaturthi] Authorities must maintain tranquility so religious rituals can be observed freely: Allahabad High Court

[Ganesh Chaturthi] Authorities must maintain tranquility so religious rituals can be observed freely: Allahabad High Court

In a significant observation, the Allahabad High Court declared that the administrative authorities can not absolve themselves of responsibility for public order and the maintenance of tranquility to assure that religious practices and rituals be observed freely and without any threat to public peace.

The bench of Judge Attau Rahman Masoodi and Judge Om Prakash Shukla further noted that administrative authorities are required to base their decision and not be indifferent to people of faith.

With this, the Court disposed of a plea requesting a writ of mandamus from the Shravasti district administration to allow the representation filed by the petitioner [Sri Bal Ganesh Pooja Mahotsav Samiti] ask permission to celebrate Ganesh Chaturti between August 31 and September 6 and to allow idol immersion.

Now when the District, Bhinga Police and Tehsil Administration did not make a decision on the representation filed by the petitioner Samiti, its President Laxmi Niwas Tiwari approached the High Court with the instant plea requesting permission and required instructions from the local government.

From the outset, the Court observed that the cause defended in the motion for an order falls more within the domain of the administrative authorities, who must base their decision and not be indifferent to persons of faith.

Moreover, noting that the Pooja on the occasion of “Ganesh Chaturthi” is around the corner, the Court stressed that religious denominations must be protected within the constitutional framework as long as they exist.

The administrative authorities cannot therefore absolve themselves of the responsibility towards public order and the maintenance of tranquility to ensure that religious practices and rituals are observed freely and without any threat to public tranquility.“, noted the Court.

Therefore, the petitioner was allowed to make a representation before the district administration so that the necessary arrangement is ensured within the constitutional framework by maintaining law and order as well as cultural solidarity.

In the event that any such representation is made, it will be considered and decided according to law immediately.“, further ordered the Court in ruling on the motion in writ.

Lawyer Sharvan Kumar Pandey appeared for the Samiti petitioner.

Case Title – Sri Bal Ganesh Pooja Mahotsav Samiti Thru. President Laxmi Niwas Tiwari versus State Of UP Thru. Main Secy. Home Lko. And 4 others [WRIT – C No. – 5854 of 2022]

Case quote: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 415

Click here to read/download the order

Ruth R. Culp