Supreme Court recommended to waive the condition of payment, in the matter of the Chief Priest M D Dhanapal of Lord Sri Vaalavaikkum Vandithurai Karuppannasamy Temple in Thiruchirappalli district in Tamil Nadu.
The priest filed a leave petition at The Supreme Court, seeking relief by the order passed by The Madras High Court. The Madras High Court ordered the priest to pay heavy deposit as the condition of bail.
In this Court it is submitted that the petitioner, who was rendering devotional services in a relatively small Temple at Tiruchirapalli, with little income does not have the requisite funds.
The Madras High Court ordered the priest to pay ten lakh rupees each who were killed due to panic outside the temple, on the occasion of the “Chithra Pournami festival” on 21st Apr 2019.
In the said stampede on 21st Apr 2019, outside the temple, seven pilgrims were killed and 10 injured.
The bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and Ajay Rastogi also observed that the incident took place during the distribution of “Pidikkas”.
it appears that an accident took place when “Pidikkas were being distributed on the occasion of Chithira Pavurnami Festival”. The petitioner was not even named in the F.I.R. From the averments in the F.I.R., it does not appear that the petitioner was responsible for the death.
The bench was also informed that the compensation by the State Government to family of pilgrims, which was Rupees One Lakh and Two Lakhs respectively.
The bench then finally granted the relief to the priest and said:
we deem it appropriate to waive the condition of payment to the family members/legal heirs of the deceased victims for the purpose of grant of bail. The concerned Judicial Magistrate may grant bail on conditions as he may deem fit to his satisfaction. We order accordingly.