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India: Saying no to religious prayer inside government offices

7 June 2012

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posted below is a report and a public petition from 2011 along with links to relevant material

The Hindu
CHENNAI, October 5, 2011

Notice on petition against puja in government offices

Special Correspondent

The Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered notice to the State government on a writ petition seeking a direction to authorities not to permit Ayudha Puja celebrations in government offices.

In the petition, filed through counsel S. Doraisamy and V. Elangovan, petitioner T.S. Mani, president of the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam, Tiruvanmiyur here, stated that the State government had issued an order in December 1993 prohibiting religious worship or prayer within its office premises.

In August 1994, the Chief Secretary had written to all Secretaries citing a letter from the Centre to ensure that no religious worship or prayer took place on office campuses.

The petitioner said that during Ayudha Puja, government offices became temples. No official activities were carried out.

Last year, members of the PDK tried to prevent the conduct of puja in police stations. Cases were foisted against them.

He wrote to the authorities on September 21 this year to issue instructions for preventing puja in government offices. There was no response.

Hence the petition.

The petitioner said that during Ayudha Puja, government offices become temples

source URL: http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/article2513432.ece

o o o

Petition against Puja in Government Offices
http://www.carvaka4india.com/2011/10/petition-against-puja-in-government.html

see also::

Code of Conduct for Central Government employees
http://www.persmin.gov.in/DOPT/EmployeesCorner/Acts_Rules/CCSRules_1964/ccs_conduct_rules_1964_details.htm

Link to full court ruling that was pretty dismissive of the petition SP Muthu Raman:
BEFORE THE MADURAI BENCH OF MADRAS HIGH COURT
DATED: 30/11/2011

CORAM
THE HONOURABLE MR.JUSTICE R.SUDHAKAR
and THE HONOURABLE MRS.JUSTICE ARUNA JAGADEESAN

Writ Petition (MD)No.11444 of 2011 and M.P.(MD)No.1 of 2011

S.P.Muthu Raman ... Petitioner

vs.

1.The Chief Secretary, Government of Tamil Nadu, Secretariat, Fort St. George, Chennai.
2.The Deputy Secretary to Government, The Public (Miscellaneous) Department, Secretariat, Fort St. George, Chennai.
3.The Secretary, Personnel and Administrative, Reforms Department, Secretariat, Fort St. George, Chennai. .. Respondents

http://indiankanoon.org/doc/31815003/