Wednesday, October 29, 2014

HC upholds restriction on hired vehicles during Thevar guru puja

The Madras High Court Bench here on Tuesday upheld the validity of an order passed by Ramanathapuram Collector prohibiting the use of hired vehicles to enter Pasumpon on the eve of the birth-cum-death anniversary of freedom fighter Muthuramalinga Thevar on October 30. A Division Bench comprising Justices V. Dhanapalan and V.M. Velumani dismissed, as devoid of merits, a public interest litigation petition filed by S. Rajamaravan alias Manickavasagam (31), coordinator of Thevar Ina Ilam Puligal, a private organisation based at Tenkasi in Tirunelveli district. Though the petitioner contended that the restriction imposed by the Collector would prevent the poor from visiting the freedom fighter’s memorial at Pasumpon, the judges said that it could not be a ground for the court to interfere with an executive order intended towards maintenance of law and order. Writing the judgement for the Bench, Mr. Justice Dhanapalan held the proceedings issued by the district administration to prevent untoward incidents on the day of Thevar Guru Puja-cum-Jayanthi could not be termed to have been passed in contravention of any of the Constitutional provisions. He also said another Division Bench of Justice M. Jaichandren and Justice R. Mahadevan had last month dismissed a case challenging a similar order passed by the Ramanathapuram Collector in view of Dalit leader Immanuel Sekaran’s death anniversary on September 10. Disposing of another PIL seeking permission for entry of “white board vehicles” owned by individuals for personal use, the Bench led by Mr. Justice Dhanapalan recorded the submission of Additional Advocate General K. Chellapandian that there was no restriction on such vehicles. The Bench pointed out that even the order of the Collector categorically states that the restriction was being imposed only with respect to hired vehicles and the decision was taken only with the consent of the leaders of the community concerned.

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