Sabarimala verdict: TDB to discuss review petition

The Board has stated that it would need another 100 acre of land to upscale the infrastructure.

Even as the CPM-led Kerala government welcomed the Supreme Court judgment upholding the right of women of all ages to enter the Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has reiterated views backing status quo on ritualistic traditions followed in the hill shrine.

On Sunday, TDB president A Padmakumar said possibilities of a review petition against the order would be explored during discussions in the wake of the September 28 judgment.

“We’ll study the judgment and consult with legal experts, members of the tantri (head priest) family and the erstwhile royal family of Pandalam over the next couple of days. A decision will be taken at a board meeting scheduled on October 3,” Padmakumar, a former MLA of the ruling CPM, told reporters here.

The TDB president said the judgment was unlikely to lead women in large numbers to the temple because most of the woman devotees accepted existing ritualistic traditions followed in the temple.

He said women aged between 10 and 50 years in his family would not visit the temple based on the court judgment.

“It’s a matter of respecting their beliefs,” he said.

The Opposition Congress has again raised calls for a review petition on the matter.

Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Chennithala said on Sunday that the Supreme Court should consider the social impact of and practical difficulties in implementation of the order.

“All places of worship in the country function on certain beliefs and ritualistic traditions. Violating them will hurt a large section of believers. The TDB should file a review petition,” Chennithala said.

The previous Congress-led government and TDB of the time had favoured restrictions on women’s entry to the temple.

Politically, the conflicting views of the present government and the board are also seen as part of the efforts in reaching out to the two camps with contrasting views on the matter.

The TDB has a challenging task ahead in ensuring security and creating new amenities for woman pilgrims in and around the shrine.

The Board has stated that it would need another 100 acre of land to upscale the infrastructure.

The Sabarimala temple will be opened for monthly pujas, from October 17 to 22.

The annual pilgrimage season will commence on November 16, with the mandala puja mahotsavam.

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Sabarimala verdict: TDB to discuss review petition

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