Kerala plans a law for Sabarimala temple

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A view of Holy 18 Steps leading to the Ayyappa temple Sabarimala.

It will cover TDB temples, says counsel

An August 27 order of the Supreme Court records that the Kerala government counsel has submitted that the State is preparing a separate law to administer the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.

However, G. Prakash, Standing Counsel for Kerala in the Supreme Court, clarified to The Hindu on Friday that the new legislation would cover not just the Sabarimala temple, but all temples coming under the Travancore Devaswom Board in Kerala.

There are over 150 temples, including the Sabarimala temple, administered by the Board.

Mr. Prakash said the oral submission from the State came during the hearing of a case, Revathi Nal P. Ramavarma Raja versus State of Kerala, before a Bench led by Justice N.V. Ramana on August 27.

In its short order, the court recorded that the “learned counsel appearing on behalf of the respondent, State of Kerala, submits that the State is considering enacting a separate legislation with regard to the administration of the Sabarimala Sree Ayyappa Swamy Temple.”

Mr. Prakash said, “We are making a new legislation for all temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board, which includes Sabarimala. This legislation is in the final stages of drafting and concerns administration of the temples.”

Mr. Prakash clarified that the legislation has “nothing whatsoever to do about the issue of entry of women worshippers into the Sabarimala temple.”

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