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The Madras High Court today held that though shorter queues in temples are for those who buy tickets for darshan, the distance from where the public shall offer prayers to deities should be the same for all devotees notwithstanding whether they paid for darshan or not. The First Bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sunder gave the direction on a PIL by Indic Collective Trust seeking a direction to Hindu Religious and Charitable Trust to regulate the system of granting better advantages to those "paid darshan" ticket holders in the Srivilliputhur Sri Andal temple, Arulmighu Ekambaranathar temple at Kancheepuram and Arulmigu Oppiliappan Temple at Thirunagesaram. Irrespective of paid or un-paid, the darshan of the deity shall be provided from the same distance to all, the court said. The trust submitted that a student visited these temples recently and he was under the presumption that all the devotees, including those paid for darshan, would be allowed darshan from equal duration and from the same distance from the deity. However it was found that these temples were providing special privileges to those who paid for darshan. They were allowed darshan from a shorter distance in violation of the fundamental rights under Article 14 and 25 of Constitution, the trust contended.
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