SC Directs Kerala Govt To Prepare Exclusive Law For Administration Of Sabarimala Temple By 3rd Week Of January 2020

Crowds of devotees at the Sabarimala temple. (Photo by Shankar/The India Today Group/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Kerala government to formulate an exclusive legislation in connection with the administration of the Sabarimala temple.

A bench headed by Justice N V Ramana asked the state government to place before the court a legislation, before the third week of January, incorporating various aspects associated with the welfare of pilgrims visiting the temple.

The apex court took exception to the state government's attempts to make joint law for administration of Sabarimala temple and other temples, and insisted there should be separate law.

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The counsel for the state government contended before the court that a draft has been prepared which reflects amendments to the law. Currently, the temple administration is governed by the Travancore Devaswom Board.

According to the state government counsel, the draft also proposes having one third women representatives on the temple advisory committee, and to take out the Sabarimala temple from the Devaswom Board and then make a separate law.

During the hearing, a debate propped up in connection with 2018 judgement on the Sabarimala temple. One of the judges on the bench queried on the entry of women in the temple in the backdrop of September 2018 top court verdict, which allowed the entry of women of all ages into the shrine.

The state government replied that for the time being it proposes to give representation to women above 50 years on the temple advisory committee. "The issue of women entry will be decided by the larger bench", said the state counsel.

In 2011, a plea was filed in the apex court raising the issue of administration of Sabarimala temple.

In August this year, the state government told the apex court that a separate legislation is under consideration in connection with the administration of the Sabarimala temple.

Recently, a five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi in 3:2 majority judgement referred the review of Sabarimala 2018 judgement to a larger 7-judge bench.

The apex court had not put a stay on the 2018 verdict.

(This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.)

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