Madras High Court rejected PIL on festival holidays

Bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan of Madras High Court while dismissing a Public Interest Petition (PIL) which objected to the court granting four to five days of holidays on occasion of ‘north Indian’ festivals like Diwali, held that, “there is no north-south divide, but for the endeavours of persons like the petitioners, who seek to raise divisive issues only to gain publicity and create unrest among people. It is necessary for this court to come down with heavy hands on such endeavours“.  Court even imposed an exemplary cost of Rs 20,000 on the petitioner.

In the given petition, petitioner claimed that, “till a couple of decades ago, the High Court had been granting just a day’s leave on Diwali, said successive Chief Justices from north India had increased the number of holidays after the north Indian festival had been thrust on Tamils. Long holidays would render advocates jobless”.

While dismissing the Public Interest Litigation, court observed that, the petitioner is raising divisive issues for publicity. Court also criticized the content as well as attitude displayed in the petition. It was also told that, court’s calendar was prepared after a lot of deliberations, including discussions with representatives of advocates.

Court further ruled that, “Whether Advocates are rendered jobless or not is not the concern of the petitioner, as advocates and their representatives are consulted during the framing of the calendar. It need not be the concern of all and sundry, who want to gain public importance through such means”.

Court further observed that, India being a vast country with various cultures, language and food habits, which is something the nation should be proud of, and said, “All these cultures combined together form the nation of India. It is something to be celebrated. It should not segregate the country into two parts by raising divisive issues, as the petitioner seeks to do.”

The Court asked the petitioner to deposit the cost of Rs. 20000/- within 15 days at the mediation centre of the court.

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