Ganesh Chaturthi: Supreme Court Upholds Halt On Sale Of Plaster-Of-Paris Idols

CJI DY Chandrachud said the idols should have been made out of natural clay instead.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>Supreme Court. (Source: Varun Gakhar/BQ Prime)</p></div>
Supreme Court. (Source: Varun Gakhar/BQ Prime)

The Supreme Court refused on Monday to interfere with a Madras High Court order that halted the sale of Lord Ganesha idols that were made from plaster of Paris.

According to the guidelines issued by the Central Pollution Control Board in May 2020 for idol immersion, idols made out of plaster of Paris should be banned because they contain harmful chemicals that are not biodegradable.

Arguing against the halt of sales, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan said that since the idols had already been put together, they could be allowed to be immersed in artificial water tanks rather than a river.

Refusing to accept this argument, Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said the idols should have been made out of natural clay instead.

Last week, a single-judge bench of the high court allowed the sale of idols made from plaster of Paris but restricted their immersion. The decision was overturned by a two-judge bench, which said the idol immersion guidelines called for a specific ban on manufacturing idols from plaster of Paris.

The guidelines categorically say that manufacturing idols is only allowed if they are made from natural, biodegradable, and environmentally safe materials, the high court said.

The court held that it has been consistently reiterated that during festivals, idols should be made using only pure clay.

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