The Supreme Court on Thursday directed Karnataka chief secretary to take all steps to prevent women from being forced to become 'devadasis' at a temple function scheduled to be held tonight in Devnagar district of the state.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam passed the direction on a PIL filed by an NGO, S L Foundation, alleging that 'devadasis' dedication is going to take place at Uttarang Mala Durga temple at Harappanahalli Taluk of Devnagar district.
The bench also issued notice to the Karnataka government and asked it to file a response on the PIL seeking framing of guidelines to stop the tradition of 'devadasis', saying it is a national shame.
The petitioner alleged that the process of 'devadasi' dedication is still prevalent in different parts of the country despite the law against it and pleaded for the apex court's intervention in the matter.
A 'devadasi' is a woman "dedicated" to worship and service of a deity or a temple for the rest of her life.