Kerala High Court to intervene in Devaswom Board issue

via Pioneer News Service | Kochi published on January 4, 2008

The Kerala High Court has told the Travancore Devaswom Board that the court would intervene in the affairs of the board if the administrative stagnancy is not removed. The court observed this orally while inspecting the affidavits of the board members.

The order was of the High Court Division Bench comprising of Justice PR Raman and Justice VK Mohan

The court has also directed the board secretary to immediately give notice on subjects which are of immediate nature by Tuesday. The petitioner Ravindran Pillai has prayed to the High Court that in the present agenda of the board meeting there are 269 subjects to be discussed.

The court also directed the board to give special attention to the Mandala and Makaravilakku festivals. The court also directed that the difference of opinion between the board members should not become a hindrance to the pilgrims who are reaching the hill shrine in large numbers to have darshan of the lord.

The court also told the board in strict words that it would interfere in the routine affairs of the board if there is an administrative stagnation affecting the pilgrimage to the temple. With only eleven days remaining to the Sabarimala Makaravilakku festival and the expected pilgrim strength estimated to be around three crores , the Devaswom board is in the dark with the members and the president taking diametrically opposite positions on the issues concerning the temple. Apprehensions are raging among ordinary devotees that with such callous attitude on the part of the board the pilgrims will have to suffer in the heavy rush during the Makaravilakku .

The function of the board is in jeopardy and the court observation is a direct fallout of the reports that this would directly affect the festivals being conducted in several other temples under the TDB other than the Sabarimala. The board has not filled the vacancies of five senior officials including that of the secretary and with the president and the members taking different positions on the same the Sabarimala Makaravilakku festival will be affected .

With the Aravana issue and the security angle and the police interference dominating the Mandalam season in the Makaravilakku with an estimated three crores of devotees coming in there is bound to be confusion in the whole situation and the board must have to rise to the occasion which sadly is not to be seen .Sources in the board also indicated that the Devaswom Minister Sudhakaran is having a major role to play and that he is playing a game of hide and seek in the whole issue .

The Sabarimala issue will be one of the major problems which would act as a backlash to the already reduced popularity of the Left Government.

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