Kochi: The Kerala High Court did not announce a favourable order against a joint plea filed by two priests who questioned the Constitutional validity of the notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board restricting head priest post at Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples to 'Malayala Brahmins'.
Justice CT Ravi Kumar and Justice Murali Purashothaman observed that "We cannot pass an interim order now. The matter requires detailed consideration. We are not making any observations on the merit of the case. We are giving a chance to all the respondents in the petition to file counter-affidavits. This is not a matter where one could hurriedly take a decision," reported The New Indian Express.
The petition, filed by two head priests Sijith TL and Vijeesh PR, argued that the TDB's guidelines are unconstitutional as it is in direct violation of the Fundamental Rights stipulated under Articles 14, 15 and 16 of the Indian Constitution.
In the petition, the representing advocate stated that "The petitioners are Melsanthis working in two major temples in Kerala. They are fully qualified for being appointed as Melsanthis in any of the major temples run by the Devaswom Boards in the State. They are well conversant with the Poojas, Tantras, Mantras which are necessary for offering Poojas in the major temples in Kerala."
"They are aggrieved by the notification issued by the Travancore Devaswom Board inviting applications to the post of Melsanthi in Sabarimala and Malikappuram Temples under the Travancore Devaswom Board since the notification contains a clause that only a Malayali Brahmin alone is entitled to apply to the above post. The above clause contained in the notification is in utter violation of Articles 14, 15(1) and 16 (2) of the Constitution of India," stated the petition reported Times Now.
The Court has directed the Travancore Devaswom Board to file its counter-affidavit. Further hearing of the case has been scheduled for August 12.