Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Court rejects plea against churidar in Guruvayur temple

Court rejects plea against churidar in Guruvayur temple

Legal Correspondent

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the Guruvayur Krishna temple's decision to allow entry of women wearing churidar.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.V. Raveendran and J.M. Panchal dismissed a special leave petition challenging the August 23 Kerala High Court order, which upheld the temple's decision.

Manoj V. George, counsel for a devotee K. Mohandas, argued that the change in the 5,000-year-old practice of allowing only women wearing the traditional sari hurt the sentiments of a section of worshippers.

He said the Guruvayur Devaswom Managing Committee had no right to interfere in spiritual matters. "Today it is the dress code, tomorrow it may be something else."

Rejecting the argument that tradition should be preserved, Justice Balakrishnan said, "The dress code has to change with the time, with the change in practices, as long as it is not violative of the public standards of morality."

He asked counsel, "Do you know that women were not allowed to cover the upper part of their body? It was only after a revolution that they were allowed to cover the upper part of their body, so should we go back to that practice?"

The committee on July 26 decided to permit women wearing churidar to enter the temple. The petitioner moved the High Court to restrain the committee from implementing the decision. But it rejected the petition.

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