Madurai (Tamil Nadu) – Stating that ‘God’ alone is VIP, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court has ordered that no person, including temple employees or Government staff, should be allowed to misuse VIP entry passes in temples. ‘If any VIP causes inconvenience to devotees, then the VIP is committing a religious sin’, the Court observed. “The staff should get Darshan only through the paid queue, or the free Darshan queue along with other devotees”, the Court added.
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While hearing a petition regarding Subramania Swamy Temple at Tiruchendur in Thoothukudi, Justice SM Subramaniam said, “If any VIP causes inconvenience to devotees, then the VIP is committing a religious sin, which would not be forgiven by God. Public servants, from various Government Departments who do not fall under the category of VIP, and others should not be allowed special Darshan and no separate queue should be created for them. People are frustrated with VIP culture”.
Special entry for VIPs should not result in the infringement of the general public’s right to equality, the Court added. “VIP entry must be restricted to the VIPs and their family members. It should not be accorded to their relatives. The temple administration is duty-bound to ensure that VIP Darshan is extended without inconveniencing the people. Surely, some people deserve to have VIP Darshan. But this special privilege is extended to the special offices that the individuals are holding, and not for the individuals”, Justice SM Subramaniam added.