Video call

HC allows Dharmapuri Temple Car Festival and hears matter via WhatsApp video call

CHENNAI: In such a rare occurrence, the Madras High Court on Sunday heard an urgent case via WhatsApp video call and cleared a car fest from Abheeshta Varadarajaswamy temple in Papparapatti Agraharam Dharmapuri district.

During the outbreak of the pandemic, courts across the country switched to online hearing procedure in March 2020. While such mode of hearing had ended or partially ended in March, Judge GR Swaminathan of Madras HC had taken a case filed by PR Srinivasan, Hereditary Administrator of Abheeshta Varadaraja Swamy Temple as an urgent matter on Sunday and heard the same through WhatsApp video call mode.

“‘Our village will face divine wrath if the proposed Rath festival does not take place tomorrow’ – This fervent prayer by the petitioner compelled the court to hold an emergency session from Nagercoil and conduct the case via WhatsApp “, Judge Swaminathan said in his order.

The petitioner wanted to rescind a disputed order of the Inspector of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department of Pennagaram preventing the petitioner from holding the car festival on 16.05.2022 by voting for security reasons.

In allowing the case, the judge quashed the order observing that the inspector, HR-CE is not vested with the power to cancel the car festival.

“Section 8 of the TN HR-CE Act does not confer any authority on an inspector to convey a communication to a fit person/fiduciary to cancel the car festival. Therefore, I cancel the same, the judge said.

P Muthukumar, the head of government, said the government was ready to allow the car festival, but permission was denied for security reasons.

“Recently, a fatal incident occurred during an organized motorcade in Thanjavur district,” the GP recalled.

While recording the statement, the judge ordered TANGEDCO to cut off the power supply throughout the procession which will be held at Papparapatti Agraharam.

He also ordered the HR-CE, revenue and administration of local bodies to take appropriate measures to ensure that the motorcade proceeds in a safe manner.