Delhi liquor scam case until November 20. The court was hearing a plea by Kavitha against the ED summoning her in an alleged Delhi liquor scam
The Supreme Court on Monday – September 18 – dismissed a petition challenging the Madras High Court order prohibiting the sale of Lord Ganesha idols made of Plaster of Paris (PoP).
Dismissing the plea by an artisan who had made Lord Ganesha’s idols in pursuance to the orders by the customers, a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra, said eco-friendly materials like fresh clay can be used for the making of Lord Ganesha’s idols.
Dismissing the plea, the bench said that it will pass the order.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan appearing for the artisan, sought the restoration of September 16 order passed by a single judge of the Madra High Court, permitting the sale of Lord Ganesha’s idols, made of plaster of Paris with conditions that seller of idols will maintain a register having the details of the purchasers and local authorities would make arrangement of water tanks for their immersion.
However, this was opposed by a lawyer appearing for the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) who told the bench that May 2023 guidelines issued by the CPCB states that the idols will be made of eco-friendly material and will not be immersed in water bodies and rivers.
The CPCB lawyer told the bench that guidelines clearly states that plaster of Paris will not be used in the making of the idols, not even small components of PoP will be there in the idols.
The matter came to be heard today following a mentioning by senior advocate Shyam Divan seeking an urgent hearing, stating that the division bench has stayed the single judge order in a special sitting on Sunday – September 17 – on an appeal by the Tirunelveli District Collector, who had challenged the September 16 single judge order permitting the sale of Lord Ganesh’s idols made of plaster of Paris with seller maintaining full records of the purchasers and their immersion in a specially designated water tanks.
The appeal was filed in the Supreme court challenging Sep 17 Madras High Court’s division bench order staying the Sep 16 Single Judge order which allowed making & selling of Lord Ganesh idols ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi while restraining immersion of non-eco-friendly ones in water bodies.
A bench of Justice SS Sonder and Justice Bharatha Chakravarthy had a special sitting on Sunday – September 17, 2023 – and stayed the operation of a single judge order permitting the sale of Lord Ganesh’s idols made of plaster of Paris.
“There shall be an order of interim stay of the operation of the order dated September 16, 2023. The appellant may take appropriate action against anyone to prevent manufacturing, selling and immersion of idols made of plaster of Paris or plastic etc in adherence to revised guidelines,” the division bench ordered.
The single judge of the High Court, Justice GR Swaminathan, by an interim order, had while permitting the sale of Lord Ganesha’ idols made of plaster of Paris, had stated that their immersion in water bodies can be restricted.
The single judge had said that sellers of Lord Ganesha idols will maintain a register recording details of their buyers so that the authorities could make arrangements for their immersion.
The division bench had relied upon the orders of the National Green Tribunal and an earlier order of the division bench upholding the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines and stated that these guidelines are applicable in the State even in the absence of the specific rules by the State government.