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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

Temple trust staff against entry of women into Sabarimala shrine

The employees of the board argue that the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, does not deal with the entry and restriction of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years to the temple of Sabarimala and has been wrongly struck down by the court.

india Updated: Feb 08, 2019 23:44 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Police stand inside the premises of the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district in the southern state of Kerala, India, October 17, 2018.
Police stand inside the premises of the Sabarimala temple in Pathanamthitta district in the southern state of Kerala, India, October 17, 2018.(REUTERS)
         

The Employees Association of the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) on Friday approached the Supreme Court and distanced itself from the TDB stand supporting the entry of women of childbearing age into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple during the hearing of review petitions on Wednesday.

In a note filed in the Supreme Court through their advocates, the employees pleaded that they be given a chance to argue their case as proper facts and laws had not been placed before the court.

“Travancore Devaswom Board, during the stage of review petitions, has taken a U-turn from their earlier stand contrary to the counter preferred by the board in the writ petition and has concealed so many things from this court necessitating the petitioner to approach this Hon’ble Court. This Hon’ble Court has not been apprised of the real issue and applicable law on the point by the board or by the state government,” the note reads.

The employees of the board argue that the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, does not deal with the entry and restriction of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years to the temple of Sabarimala and has been wrongly struck down by the court. “In fact, the entry or the restriction of the same is being dealt with by the notification of the year 1955 and 1956 dated 27.11.1956 issued by the Devaswom commissioner of the Travancore Devaswom under the Travancore–Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950,” the note reads.

The Supreme Court had on Wednesday reserved its judgment after hearing review petitions on its September 2018 order allowing all women entry into Sabarimala. Earlier that day, the TDB said it supported the top court order. “Text and scriptures do not speak of exclusion of women or the practice,” senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, representing the TDB, said. When Justice Indu Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the bench, reminded Dwivedi that the board had earlier argued against the entry of women to the temple, he replied, “The board has decided to respect the court’s verdict.”

First Published: Feb 08, 2019 23:25 IST

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