The Madras High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking a direction to the state of Tamil Nadu to issue Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to be followed while re-opening all religious places of worship, while holding that it would amount to encroaching the executive’s jurisdiction.
The court held,
“This Court does not find any merit in this writ petition, inasmuch as, the Government itself has not taken any decision as to when the temples are to re-opened.”
The Court was also of the view that it cannot issue any direction to the Government to regarding issuing of Standard Operating Procedure as prayed by the petitioner “as that would amount to encroaching into the domain of the executive”.
A PIL petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court two days ago questioning the rationale of the Ministry of Home Affairs allowing the reopening of religious places of worship with effect from June 8.
The Punjab &Hrayana HC had only last week upheld the state government’s restrictions on religious places during Covid-19 lockdown stating,
“Merely that in certain areas restrictions have been relaxed cannot be a ground to relax the same qua religious places of worship. The discretion not to permit opening of all the places of worship for the public and prohibiting holding of religious congregations/gatherings has been exercised judiciously”, asserted the Punjab & Haryana High Court last week, upholding the state government’s restrictions on religious places during Covid-19 lockdown.
As reported in the media, the Madras High Court had on Thursday asked the state as to why a completecomplete lockdown could not be implemented for some time in Chennai observing that the pandemic situation in the city and its suburbs is alarming as cases continue to rise.
Read the order here: