A judge has conducted a case via ‘WhatsApp’ for the first time in the history of the Madras High Court, that too on a Sunday.
Following a submission by P R Srinivasan, the hereditary trustee of Shri Abheeshta Varadaraja Swamy temple, that his village will have to face the ‘divine wrath’ if the proposed ‘Rath’ (car) festival was not held on Monday, Justice G R Swaminathan took up the case while he was in Nagercoil to attend a marriage function on Sunday.
The judge in the first line of his ruling said that he held the emergency while being at Nagercoil via WhatsApp due to the impassioned plea of the writ petitioner.
The session was a triangular session, where the judge was hearing the case from Nagercoil, petitioner’s counsel V Raghavchari was at one place, and Advocate-General Shanmugasundaram was at another. The issue was related to a temple in a district named Dharmapuri. The judge ruled that the inspector who is assigned to the Charitable Department and Hindu Religious didn’t have the jurisdiction to give order to the temple Thakkar (Fit person) and the hereditary trustee to stop the car festival.
Previously, the AG guaranteed the judge that the government does not repel the event’s holding and general public’s safety is their main concern.
However, they could not adhere to safety standards and a casualty occurred in Thanjavur district recently in a similar parade. Pointing toward the incident, he stressed the fact that such mishaps should not flare-up again.
After opposing the impugned order, the judge strictly ordered the authorities of the temple to abide by the rules and regulations of the government while hosting temple festivals and the state-run discom TANGEDCO to cut power supply in the areas for some hours, from the beginning of the processions till it returns to its stand (Nilai).
Last month, 17 people were injured and 11 people were killed near Thanjavur during a parade when a temple chariot collied with a High Tension electricity power wire.