SC refuses plea for early hearing against stay order on 'made snana'

The Supreme Court on Friday refused to allow a plea for early hearing of the Karnataka government’s petition against ‘made snana’ performed by people from the Malekudiya community in the Dakshina Kannada district.

A three-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice T S Thakur told advocate Bharathi, appearing for Adivasi Budakattu Hitrarakshana Vedike, seeking urgent listing of the matter next week, to mention the case after winter vacations.

She sought lifting of the stay on the ritual. Advocate Joseph Aristotle, appearing for Karnataka, opposed the plea contending there was no urgency involved at the moment.

Stay order
The apex court had on December 12, 2014, stayed an order of the Karnataka High Court which allowed ‘made snana’.

Acting on a petition filed by the Vedike, the Karnataka High Court had on November 19 last year ordered that the rituals, which were prevailing earlier, would continue to be performed by the devotees during ‘Shashti’.

The court had not allowed any modification in the practice, saying the sentiments of the locals – attached to the temple and following the custom since time immemorial – cannot be brushed aside.

Ban sought
In its petition, the Karnataka government sought a ban on the custom in its original form saying the right to practise one’s religion was subject to certain conditions.
It claimed the practice, in its original form, also called ‘Pankti Bheda’, was clearly against public order, morality and health.

The State government said allowing the community to perform the rituals as per their religious belief during Shasti festival could lead to untoward incidents including law and order problem.

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