HC raps tem­ples, says dar­shan should be equal for all

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - KV Lak­sh­mana klak­sh­mana@htlive.com ▪

CHENNAI: Madras high court has come down heav­ily on the al­leged dis­crim­i­na­tory prac­tices in some ma­jor tem­ples across Tamil Nadu favour­ing the peo­ple who pay for dar­shan as com­pared to those who opted for free dar­shan.

Tak­ing up a PIL filed by G Aravin­dalochanan, who sought di­rec­tions for equal op­por­tu­ni­ties for all — pray­ing from the same dis­tance from the pre­sid­ing de­ity and for same du­ra­tion for all — chief jus­tice Indira Banerjee, and jus­tice M Sun­dar or­dered that all devo­tees must have dar­shan from the same dis­tance.

The pe­ti­tioner has al­leged in his PIL that devo­tees who paid for dar­shan got bet­ter op­por­tu­ni­ties and ad­van­tages than those who opted for free dar­shan at Sriv­il­liput­tur Sri An­dal Tem­ple at Sriv­il­liput­tur, Arul­mighu Ekam­baranathar Tem­ple at Kancheep­u­ram and Arul­migu Op­pil­i­ap­pan Tem­ple at Thirunage­saram.

He had vis­ited the three tem­ples and wit­nessed the prac­tice of giv­ing the op­por­tu­nity to those opt­ing for paid dar­shan to pray from closer to the de­ity than those opt­ing for free dar­shan, and also got to stay for longer du­ra­tion to pray.

The pe­ti­tioner said this prac­tice vi­o­lated the fun­da­men­tal rights of equal­ity guar­an­teed by the Con­sti­tu­tion.

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