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SC refuses to stop idol immersion

November 21, 2009
Margashirsha Shuddha Panchami, Kaliyug Varsha 5111

New Delhi: The Supreme Court today refused to stop immersion of idols in natural water bodies saying it would not interfere with religious customs of any denomination.

“You are speaking of Article 21, right to life and liberty of individuals, what about Article 25 (which guarantees right to every citizen to practise the religion of his choice)? We can’t waste a minute on such petitions,” Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said, dismissing a public interest plea seeking such curbs.

Delhi trader Salek Chand Jain had filed the plea saying immersed idols were choking natural water bodies. “We cannot give any directions on this,” the CJI said.

The Supreme Court was asked to intervene just as it had done to curb the use of loudspeakers and amplifiers to check noise pollution.

The idols, made of harmful chemicals and non-biodegradable items and immersed after Durga Puja, Ganesh Puja or Saraswati Puja, choked rivers and ponds, the petition said.

Idols should instead be sunk in specially created ponds and pits constructed near natural water bodies, the petition suggested.

The petition had drawn the court’s attention to the recent post-Puja immersions in Delhi that, it said, affected potable water supply in several parts of the capital.

Although everyone has the right to practise, profess and propagate any religion, it does not give anybody untrammelled rights to pollute rivers, the petition said.

Source: The Telegraph

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