The Madras High Court directed the removal of a stone perceived as an ‘idol’ planted outside a private property stating that “no court exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

The petitioner had filed a complaint to seek police protection to remove a stone that had been erected at the entrance of the petitioner’s property. The stone was attempted to be projected as an idol and there was resistance to remove it.

The Court went through the photographs which showed that the stone, which was placed on the ground in front of the property of the petitioner, was covered with a green cloth in an attempt to make it look like an idol.

A Single Bench of Justice N. Anand Venkatesh observed, “It is quite unfortunate that such superstitious beliefs continues to prevail in the society and people do not seem to evolve by passage of time. No useful purpose will be served by initiating proceedings before the civil Court and in fact, it will be a waste of judicial time to ponder over such a frivolous issue.

Advocate L. Dhamodharan represented the petitioner, while Addl. PP A. Damodaran appeared for the respondents.

The petitioner had argued that it was not possible for him to approach the civil court to address the issue.

The Court held that initiating proceedings before the civil court would be a waste of judicial time over such a frivolous issue as it would be impossible for the court to decide “whether it is a stone or it has uplifted itself into the status of an idol.

The High Court, remarking that no court in India exercises ecclesiastical jurisdiction, stated that “A very funny situation will arise before the civil Court wherein the seventh respondent will claim that the stone must be treated as an idol and the petitioner will state that it is merely a stone and not an idol. It will become impossible for the Court to decide whether it is a stone or it has uplifted itself into the status of an idol.

The Court directed the Assistant Commissioner of Police to act upon the complaint of the petitioner and enable the petitioner to enjoy his property by removing the stone that had been planted at the entrance of the property.

Accordingly, the High Court disposed of the writ petition.

Cause Title: E.Shakthi Murugan v. The District Collector & Ors.


Petitioner: Advocates L. Dhamodharan, M.V. Deenadhayalan, and M.V. Deenadhayalan

Respondents: Additional Public Prosecutor A. Damodaran

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