The Supreme Court on Monday gave the Kerala government and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) two weeks time to submit their replies to the petition by the BJP leader Subramanian Swamy seeking abolition of the board and removal of state control over temples in the state.
The petition, which seeks removal of control of TDB over Hindu temples in Kerala, was earlier dismissed by the Kerala High Court. In his plea, Swamy has contended that he was aggrieved by the Kerala HC’s refusal to strike down various sections of the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, 1950. The two Devaswom Boards administer most of the temples situated in the erstwhile Travancore -Cochin part of the present State of Swamy’s plea said that the HC had erred in rejecting the contention that when a temple is taken over by the state government on the allegation of mismanagement, is it not incumbent on the government to return the management of the temple to its original owners on the evil being remedied.
The Sabarimala temple which is now in the midst of a controversy after the apex court had on September 28 gave a landmark judgment to lift the ban on entry of women between the age group of 10 and 50 years of age into the Sabarimala temple is one of the temples managed by the board. Ever since the verdict, Kerala has witnessed massive protests across the state supporting the age old custom and not supporting the SC judgment.
The board is chosen by the government of the day and the incumbent Marxist led government has filled it with left fellow travelers. The current board has earned the wrath of the Sabarimala devotees for not filing a revision petition after the September 28 verdict and it was only after widespread protests that it took a late call and two weeks ago filed a revision petition to add to the 49 that were already filed in the SC.
—India Legal Bureau