“Lord Jagannath Forgave Us, Your Gods Will Forgive You Too”: SC Grants Permission To A Jain Temple Trust To Open Temples For Paryushan

first_imgTop Stories”Lord Jagannath Forgave Us, Your Gods Will Forgive You Too”: SC Grants Permission To A Jain Temple Trust To Open Temples For Paryushan Sanya Talwar and Radhika Roy21 Aug 2020 1:30 AMShare This – xThe Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Shri Parshwatilak Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Trust to keep Jain Temples open during the Paryushan festival to perform prayers at temples of Dadar, Bycullar & Chembur, by following the Standard Operating Procedure formulated by the authorities with respect to COVID19. The Paryushan period is expiring today.The bench also clarified that the order…Your free access to Live Law has expiredTo read the article, get a premium account.Your Subscription Supports Independent JournalismSubscription starts from ₹ 599+GST (For 6 Months)View PlansPremium account gives you:Unlimited access to Live Law Archives, Weekly/Monthly Digest, Exclusive Notifications, Comments.Reading experience of Ad Free Version, Petition Copies, Judgement/Order Copies.Subscribe NowAlready a subscriber?LoginThe Supreme Court on Friday allowed the Shri Parshwatilak Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Trust to keep Jain Temples open during the Paryushan festival to perform prayers at temples of Dadar, Bycullar & Chembur, by following the Standard Operating Procedure formulated by the authorities with respect to COVID19. The Paryushan period is expiring today.The bench also clarified that the order cannot be used as a precedent and will not apply to other temples or festivals.A bench comprising Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun directed the temple trust to follow Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), adding that the order would not have any bearing to any other trust or temple – specifically referring to Ganesh Chaturthi with which the State Government will be dealing in accordance with merits.CJI: “We must make it clear that the Order in this case does not extend to any other Trust or any other temples. Our Order is not intended to apply in any other case, particularly which involves large congregation of people which by their very nature cannot be controlled.”The Shri Parshwatilak Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Trust had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court order wherein it was refused to allow members of the Jain community from offering prayers in temples during the holy period of Paryushan festival (between August 15 and August 23).Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave appeared for the Petitioner-trust and submitted that they were “only seeking allowance of congregation of people up to 250 a day”. Senior Advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi appeared for the State of Maharashtra today and argued that it would not be prudent to allow prayers as COVID cases had increased exponentially in the State. Singhvi apprised the Court that Ganesh Chaturthi is starting tomorrow and it’s the biggest festival in Maharashtra. “The govt. has taken a decision and everyone is following it properly. If this one festival is allowed, floodgates will be opened”, he said.CJI SA Bobde however added that the a “blanket prohibition cannot be instituted” and drew a corollary between allowing the conduct of Jagannath Rath Yatra in June in the state of, Odisha wherein the top court had stated that it could be conducted while observing the strict restrictions and regulations of the Centre and the State Government.In this backdrop, CJI Bobde asked Singhvi that “if only five people at a time are congregating, what is wrong ? If that is the case, we don’t mind going beyond the Jain community.”Dave, at this juncture added that when the State is not policing malls, barber shops and liquor shops, there was no reason to disallow religious congregation from taking place. Singhvi urged the Court not to allow the prayer of the Trust as this it would be impossible to each State & each religion. “I hate to say this but I want to ask, how will you deal with the petition tomorrow that states Jains have been allowed, but others haven’t” he contended. The plea stated that, while assailing the order of the Bombay HC that Paryushan is the most important religious ritual followed annually by the followers of the Jain faith & that directing closure of religious places including Temples and not permitting opening of the religious places in the State of Maharashtra is arbitrary, unreasonable and without any basis.On August 14, right before the commencement of the festival, Bombay High Court had refused to allow members of the Jain community from offering prayers in temples during the holy period of Paryushan festival (between August 15 and August 23), observing that the duty of every right thinking person at this stage is to balance their religious duties with public duty, and their responsibility towards the rest of mankind.Division bench of Justice SJ Kathawalla and Justice Madhav Jamdar had observed that, “Keeping in mind that maintenance of public health is of paramount importance and the peculiar pandemic that has gripped the world and taken a huge toll in our country, in terms of the number of lives lost, we are inclined to agree with the reasons given by the Secretary, Disaster Management, Relief and Rehabilitation for not opening places of worship/temples to the members of the public at this stage.Before parting with this Order, we would once again reiterate that it is the duty of every right thinking person at this stage to balance their religious duties with public duty, and their responsibility towards the rest of mankind. In this regard, we again repeat what we have already told the Petitioners at the time of hearing, that “God is within us” and “God is everywhere”.Subscribe to LiveLaw, enjoy Ad free version and other unlimited features, just INR 599 Click here to Subscribe. All payment options available.loading….Next Storylast_img read more