Justice M M Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha also directed the Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department and the Srirangam temple management to file a detailed report on the rituals being performed.

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Court orders notice to govt on PIL about rituals at Srirangam temple
TNN | Aug 15, 2020, 04:01 IST

Chennai: The Madras high court on Friday ordered notice to the state government on a PIL seeking to perform all rituals and pujas for the main deity of Sri Ranganathaswamy Temple in Srirangam as per aagama rules during lockdown.
A division bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice R Hemalatha also directed the Hindu religious and charitable endowments (HR&CE) department and the Srirangam temple management to file a detailed report on the rituals being performed. For Hrnc special GP Karthikeyan argued to seek time to file counter

The court passed the interim order on the plea moved by Rangarajan Narasimhan of Srirangam. According to the petitioner, the temple that is over a 1,000 years old and has several rituals, fixtures that require it to be followed as per certain principles. However, the lockdown has affected this, he said. “HR&CE officials constantly interfere with the temple’s affairs and rituals. Suspension of holy rituals during lockdown and then conducting them now is not as per aagama shastra,” he said.
Appearing for the family trust that performs the rituals at the temple, senior advocate Sathish Parasaran contended that the petition is not maintainable as the petitioner has other reasons to file this plea.
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HC reserves order on privilege motion against DMK MLAs
Aug 15, 2020, 04:00 IST

Chennai: The Madras high court on Friday reserved its order on the pleas moved by 21 DMK MLAs, including party president M K Stalin, challenging breach of privilege proceedings initiated against them for bringing ‘banned’ gutka packets inside the state assembly in 2017.
The first bench of chief justice A P Sahi and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy said they are reserving the order after concluding a three-day marathon hearing.
On the final day, senior advocate A L Somayaji for the privilege committee concluded his arguments by submitting that the actions taken by the speaker in referring the issue to the committee and the notices issued by the committee to the MLAs were only to maintain the dignity and decorum of the House. “The speaker has an exclusive right to decide which acts of the members amount to breach of privilege. He is the representative of all the members of the House,” Somayaji said.
Responding to an earlier query raised by the bench as to the constitution of the committee, advocate-general Vijay Narayan submitted that every member of the House acquires certain privileges and exemptions by being elected to the assembly.
“With every privilege comes equal duty. These rights and duties are not written but learned from experience and from the traditions and conventions followed by the House. When a member violates such privilege and behaves in a manner they were not supposed to, the committee intervenes to decide whether such actions amount to breach of privilege,” Vijay Narayan said.
For example, rolling one’s eyes or sticking out tongue are not prohibited acts. But former opposition leader and DMDK founder Vijayakanth was suspended for such acts seen as breach of privilege of the House, the advocate general added. He further added that judicial review of such issues comes in only after a final decision is taken by the committee.
Replying to the submissions, DMK counsel senior advocate R Shanmugasunaram contended that what Vijayakanth did constitutes as assault under the IPC. But possessio of gutka was not banned and therefore taking it into assembly would not constitute breach of privilege. “In fact, waving gutka packets to show that a banned item is easily available in the market is the privilege of a member,” he added.
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