Sabarimala chief priest row: Brahmins organisation defends Devaswom Board in appointments

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Sabarimala temple | Photo: Mathrubhumi

Kochi: Yoga Kshema Sabha, an organisation of Brahmins argued in the Kerala High Court on Saturday that the power of Travancore Devaswom Board to appoint staff including the priest at Sabarimala temple cannot be questioned.

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court consisting of Justice Anil K Narendran and Justice PG Ajith Kumar on Saturday heard a batch of petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board inviting applications for the post of chief priest in Sabarimala and Malikappuram Temples.

During the hearing, Yoga Kshema Sabha told the Court that "the chief priest has to take the final decision in such matters. Since he was not joined as a party, this case is not maintainable. Rituals are performed in the Malayalam system at Sabarimala. That is why Malayali Brahmin is stipulated. The Travancore Devaswom Board, which is the management of the temple, has the power to appoint the staff, including the priest, under the Devaswom Act (Section 15, 31). It cannot be questioned."

The Court will again consider these petitions on January 28, 2023 in the special sitting.

One of the petitions was filed by Sijith TL and Vijeesh PR who are qualified Priests/Archakas as per the notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board except the condition that the applicant shall belong to Malayal Brahmin born in Kerala.

The notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board is being challenged in the writ petition filed by the petitioners on the ground that it is violative of their fundamental right guaranteed under Article 14, 15 (1) and 16 (2) of the Constitution of India. The writ petition was filed through Advocate TR Rajesh.


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