The High Court of Kerala yesterday (2 April) observed that the existing system of appointing members to the state’s Devaswom boards – temple administration boards – lacked transparency, thus leaving room for favouritism, reports The Daily Pioneer. Hearing a petition filed by T G Mohandas of the state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) terming the system as unconstituional, a division bench of the HC proposed guidelines to bring in more transparency and make it more acceptable to the people.
Stating that the current system had insufficiencies, the court said that amendments to the selection process were needed and that the opinion of people should also be taken into consideration.
The Travencore and Cochin Devaswom boards are governed by a board each that comprises of a president and two members. One member is selected by the Hindu members of the state’s legislative assembly and one member by the state’s cabinet. Mohandas in his petition has claimed that due to the Communist Part of India - Marxist (CPI-M)-led Left Democratic Front (LDF) and the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) alternating power in the state, both parties’ governments had issued whips in selection of the board members.
The court observed that the selection process lacked clarity, and that there was no prior information about who was being inducted into the temple boards. It also said that there was an element of secrecy in the whole process.
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