The Supreme Court on Tuesday told the Karnataka government to maintain status quo for a few days, added that Ganesh Chaturthi puja can be held somewhere else, instead at Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru's Chamarajpet.
A bench headed by Indira Banerjee told Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Karnataka government, to maintain the status quo for a few days.
"You have the puja somewhere else. And go back to high court," said the bench, also comprising justices A.S. Oka and M.M. Sundresh.
The bench emphasised that in the meanwhile, both parties as of today maintain status quo and disposed of the petitions filed by The Central Muslim Association of Karnataka and Karnataka State Board of AUQAF against the Karnataka government.
The petitioners had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Karnataka High Court order, which allowed Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru's Chamarajpet.
The matter was referred to a 3-Judge following "difference of opinion" between the two-judge comprising justices Hemant Gupta and Sudhanshu Dhulia.
Senior advocate Dushyant Dave, representing one of the petitioners, said the state government wants to change the 200 years' status quo.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, also appearing for the petitioner, said it is an Idgah land and should not be used for other religion's festivals.
During the hearing, the bench noted that for 200 years, no other religious activity was performed on the land in question, so why not the status quo?
"For 200 years, whatever was not held, let it be," said the bench.
The top court was informed that "the Karnataka government has allowed Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Idgah maidan in Bengaluru for tomorrow and day after".
Last week, the high court had granted permission to hold Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru's Chamarajpet.
The high court had said the government can take a call to permit the festival on the ground.
The court passed the order after the state government filed an appeal challenging the August 25 interim order to maintain status quo.
The high court modified the interim order and allowed the state government to consider and pass appropriate orders on applications seeking use of the land in question for holding religious and cultural activities for a limited period from August 31 onwards.