The Supreme Court agreed to hear on Monday a plea challenging a Madras High Court order staying the sale and manufacture of Ganesha idols made of plaster of Paris.
A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra agreed to hear the matter at the end of the board of listed cases after senior advocate Shyam Divan cited urgency in the matter owing to the Ganesh Chaturthi festival on Tuesday.
"This is a matter which requires urgent hearing. The division bench of the high court has passed the order on Sunday evening by which it had stayed the single judge's order permitting the sale of Ganesha idols made of plaster of Paris," Divan said.
The bench had initially asked Divan to follow the standard operating procedure for listing of urgent matters by sending an e-mail to the apex court. However, it agreed to hear the matter after the advocate mentioned the upcoming festival.
Divan said that the effect of the order issued during a special sitting on Sunday by the Madurai bench of the high court is that idols made of plaster of Paris can neither be manufactured and sold nor can they be immersed.
CJI Chandrachud then asked, "What will people do with the idols if they cannot immerse it? Has the single judge considered the aspect of immersion?" Divan said the single judge considered all the aspects and asked the district administration to make arrangements for makeshift tanks for the immersion of the idols.
The division bench of the high court has said that several orders have been passed by the court over the years on the use of idols made of plaster of Paris.
It said now that the state Pollution Control Board has formulated guidelines, idols made of plaster of Paris cannot be used.
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