The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the Kerala government to frame an exclusive legislation regarding the administration of Sabarimala temple. The top court said the exclusive law, also covering the aspects of welfare of pilgrims visiting there, should be similar to the one in Guruvayur temple, the southern state's other famous temple.
The bench headed by Justice NV Ramana asked the state to produce the law by the third week of January. The observations were made during the hearing in the 2011 case, which has raised the issue of administration of Sabarimala temple.
The Supreme Court had on August 27 asked the Kerala government to frame a new law for Sabarimala temple, but the state government, while producing the draft amendments today, said the temple will be covered under the Travancore-Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act, forcing the Bench to insist an exclusive law for administration of the Sabarimala temple. "This is not enough. We need a new, exclusive law for administration of Sabarimala temple, " the top court ruled.
The draft law also proposes to give one-third representation to women in the temple advisory committee, triggering a debate in the courtroom with regard to September 2018 top court verdict
The state government then proposed to give representation in the temple advisory committee to only those women who are above 50 years of age.
A 5-judge Constitution bench, headed by the then Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in a 3:2 majority verdict, had referred to a larger 7-judge bench the pleas seeking review of its historic 2018 judgement allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Kerala's Sabarimala temple, along with other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women.
The top court had not stayed the 2018 verdict that had allowed entry of girls and women of all ages into Sabarimala temple.
Nearly a lakh devotees have visited the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala since it opened for the 41-day annual pilgrimage season on Saturday evening.