Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh High Court has permitted a petitioner to perform Ganesha Pooja only with five persons on Vinayaka Chavithi day on Friday by installing an idol of the lord in his private place by strictly following Covid-19 guidelines.
A single judge bench headed by Justice Cheekati Manavendranath Roy heard a petition filed by a resident of Autonagar in Tirupati seeking writ of mandamus declaring the action of respondents in not permitting him to perform Vinayaka puja as illegal, arbitrary and violative of Articles of 14 and 19 of the Constitution of India and sought direction to the respondents to allow him to perform Vinayaka puja with five persons in a private place in compliance with Covid-19 protocol.
The court directed the police personnel to allow the petitioner to perform Ganesha puja from Friday onwards during the festival season and made it clear that the petitioner shall not contravene Covid-19 guidelines that were issued by the state government.
The petitioner submitted a representation dated Tuesday to the superintendent of police, Tirupati Urban police district requesting him to accord permission to perform Vinayaka puja in a private place with five members following Covid guidelines. However, no permission was accorded and this resulted in the petitioner approaching the court.
Petitioner’s counsel submitted that the petitioner got a fundamental right to perform Ganesha puja on Vinayaka Chavithi festival and prayed for permission.
Assistant government pleader C. Sumon submitted that based on directions from home principal secretary of the Central government, requesting AP government to take suitable measures to avoid large gatherings during ensuing festival season and to impose local restrictions to curb such gatherings, the AP DGP directed all unit heads not to accord any permission to install Ganesha idols in public places in violation of Covid-19 guidelines.
The court observed that DGP’s directions to impose curbs for installing Ganesha idols only in public places to avoid huge public gatherings to prevent spread of Covid and said that no restriction was imposed to perform Ganesh puja in a private place strictly adhering to Covid-19 guidelines....