Supreme Court upholds Madras High Court verdict on sale of Ganesh idols containing PoP in Tamil Nadu

The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Madras High Court order of September 16, which banned the sale of Ganesh idols containing Plaster of Paris in Tamil Nadu.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Misra refused to interfere with the Division Bench order of the Madras High Court, which stayed the single-judge verdict allowing the sale of Ganesh idols made using Plaster of Paris.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan sought urgent hearing of a petition that challenged the High Court order on the grounds that the single judge had held that there could not be a stay on manufacturing of idols and that the restriction was only on the immersion of idols made of PoP.

Though the plea was not otherwise listed today, the Bench agreed to take it up at the end of the board considering the urgency (Ganesh Chaturthi will be celebrated tomorrow).

Divan submitted that the petitioner, an artisan, has been making the idols for years. He said that on Friday, police stopped the sale of the idols. The petitioner then approached the Madurai Bench of the High Court, which, in a special sitting held on Saturday, held that the sale of such idols cannot be stopped and that only their immersion in water bodies was being prevented.

This single-judge order was stayed by the Division Bench after a special sitting convened on Sunday.

Divan contended that the guidelines of the Central Pollution Control Board was only related to immersion.