Kannada actress Jayamala could face criminal proceedings if it is found that she had entered the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple in Kerala flouting rule, the Travancore Devaswom Board said on Monday, giving a new twist in the row over her visit to the shrine.
Women in the age group of ten and 60 are not allowed to enter the temple.
The Board, which looks after temple affairs across South Kerala, has already decided to sent its vigilance officials to Bangalore to record the actress' statement on her visit to the temple in 1987 when she was 27 and her claim that she had touched the Ayyappa idol.
"Jayamala will have to face criminal proceedings if the investigation reveals that she had entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and touched the Ayyappa idol," TDB President Raman Nair told reporters.
He said the state government has already expressed its willingness to help the Board to initiate proceedings against Jayamala once it is proved that the 46-year-old actress had entered the sanctum sanctorum.
Asked how it amounts to criminal offence, Nair said her conduct was against the customs of the temple and would come under the offence of criminal trespass.
A crucial meeting of TDB office bearers on July 7 will consider whether a crime branch or judicial probe was to be ordered into the incident and make suitable recommendation to the government.
The Board also rubbished Karnataka Assembly's support to Jayamala, saying the issue was a matter of faith and not a tussle between the two states.