Madras HC stays order of single bench permitting sale of idols made of plaster of paris | Madurai News

Madras HC stays order of single bench permitting sale of idols made of plaster of paris | Madurai News

MADURAI: Granting stay on the operation of the order passed by a single bench which had directed the authorities not to prevent a man from selling idols made of plaster of paris in Tirunelveli district, Madras high court in a special sitting on Sunday made it clear that there shall not be any sale or manufacture of idols made of plaster of paris during Vinayaka Chaturthi festival.
A division bench of Justice S S Sundar and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy passed the interim order while hearing an appeal preferred by the state government challenging the order of the single bench.
The judges passed the order taking note of the state’s submission that as per the guidelines issued by Central Pollution Control Board, idols made up of only natural, biodegradable, eco-friendly raw materials without any toxic, inorganic raw materials [such as traditional virtuous clay and mud as well as free from plaster of paris, plastic and thermocol (polystyrene)] should be encouraged, allowed and promoted and idols made up of plaster of paris shall be banned.
The judges also took note of the recent order of the First Bench of this court, which had observed that it is expected that the authorities adhere and implement the CPCB guidelines, after the state submitted that they would follow the guidelines pertaining to immersion of idols during Vinayaka Chaturthi.
In such circumstances, the order of the single bench holding that the guidelines would apply only for immersion and not for sale of idols cannot be sustained, observed the judges and stayed the order of the single bench. Since the matter requires elaborate consideration, the judges adjourned the case by a week.
It is worth recalling that a single bench, during a special sitting on Saturday, observed that immersion of idols containing plaster of paris in waterbodies cannot be permitted, however, their sales cannot be prevented by the authorities. The single bench made the observations while allowing a plea moved by a man Prakash from Tirunelveli seeking a direction to prevent the authorities from interfering with his right of business to sell Vinayaka idols. The petitioner contended that plaster of paris had been used only up to the permissible level.

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