Dress code banning jeans, skirts in TN temples put on hold till Jan 18

  • PTI, Madurai
  • Updated: Jan 11, 2016 15:38 IST
(FILES) In this photograph taken on Janaury 17, 2005, an Indian Hindu Sadhu (Holy man) prays at the Meenakshi Temple in Madurai. In December, 2015, the Madras High Court ordered temple authorities in Tamil Nadu state to refuse entry to anyone wearing jeans, skirts, short-sleeves or tight leggings to "enhance spiritual ambiance". (AFP)

The Madras high court on Monday stayed a single judge’s order framing a dress code for devotees and all other visitors to temples under control of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department in the state.

The interim stay has been granted till Janurary 18 .

Justice V Ramasubramanian and justice N Kirubakaran stayed the order while admitting an appeal filed by the HR and CE department and one G Sarika of Southern Districts Women’s Federation.

This is the second appeal on the issue.

The state government had earlier filed an appeal challenging the single judge’s order on several grounds, including the correctness of compelling temple goers to adhere to a dress code. It had said individual temples were free to prescribe separate dress codes according to their customs.

In her appeal, Sarika claimed the dress code was against an individual’s right to wear clothing of his or her choice.

Alleging that the single judge’s order was “highly discriminatory,” the appellant claimed that the restrictions imposed by the judge “are against the fundamental rights, particularly of women and children”.

Disposing of a petition seeking permission for cultural programmes in view of a temple festival in Tiruchirapalli district, Justice S Vaidyanathan had on November 26 ordered that from January 1 onwards men would have to wear ‘dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts and women sari or half sari with blouse or churidhar with upper cloth’ to temples.

The judge had also ordered that children could go in ‘any fully-covered dress.’

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