Justice K. Lakshman of Telangana High Court on Thursday suspended the permission granted by Telangana government permitting installation of NTR idol depicting him as lord Krishna at Lakaram tank in Khammam town. The idol was supposed to be unveiled on May 28 marking 100th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh and film actor late N.T. Rama Rao.
The judge passed the interim direction after hearing extensive arguments presented by the petitioners’ counsels Chalakani Venkat Yadav and Satyam Reddy along with Additional Advocate General J. Ramchander Rao. Earlier, the HC had passed an interim direction keeping in abeyance installation of NTR idol in lord Sri Krishna form at the tank.
Mr. Chalakani Venkat Yadav said that a private body Telugu Association of North America (TANA) approached the HC again by way of filing counter affidavit and stating that the State government had accorded permission to erect NTR statue at Lakkaram tank bund. They presented a copy of the memo issued on the name of Special Chief Secretary Dr. Rajat Kumar, the lawyer said.
Challenging this, Mr. Yadav moved a lunch motion which was heard by the judge. The advocate contended that the Special Chief Secretary had no power to accord permission for installation of the statue. He argued that the permission amounted to violation of the guidelines laid down by Supreme Court with regard to installation of idols at public places.
The AAG contended that Lakkaram tank was not a public place. The apex court guidelines were confined to installation of idols at public roads and other public utility places and the tank did not fall under that category, he argued. Mr. Rao told the court that Lakkaram tank was being developed for amusement and it was not public place. When Mr. Venkat Yadav said some people were abusing the petitioners for challenging erection of the idol at Lakkaram tank, the judge suggested to him to lodge a complaint with the police.