A section of employees of the Travancore Devaswam Board (TDB), which administers the Sabarimala temple, have come out against the board’s U-turn over the issue of entry of women into the temple, and have accused it of “concealing” facts from the Supreme Court.
In September 2018, the Supreme Court struck down Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, as ultra vires the Constitution.
Initially, the temple’s board favoured the continuance of unique custom according to which only women below 10 and above 50 could undertake the pilgrimage.
However, on February 6, the temple’s board told a five-judge Constitution bench, that it had decided to change its stand and back the judgment which lifted the age restrictions on entry of women to the shrine.
On Friday, the Travancore Devaswom Board Employees Front, in a written submission to the Supreme Court, said, “The Travancore Devaswom Board, during the stage of Review Petitions, has taken a U-turn from their earlier stand contrary to the counter preferred by the Board in the Writ Petition and has concealed so many things from this Hon’ble Court necessitating the Petitioner to approach this Hon’ble Court.”
The submission said the “purpose of the Rules is the maintenance of Order and Decorum and not restriction of entry”.