J. Venkatesan, The Hindu
No response to proposals from Special Commissioner, says counsel
New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday suggested to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) and the Special Commissioner appointed by the Kerala High Court to try and sort out the difference over the proposal submitted by the TDB on allowing VIP darshan in Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.
While staying a Kerala High Court judgment banning the entry of VIP darshan inside the cabin in front of the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala temple, the apex court had asked the TDB to submit proposals on the procedure to be followed in allowing such VIP darshan. The Bench was hearing a special leave petition filed by Ravikumar against the High Court order.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday before a Bench of Justice Ashok Bhan and Justice Dalveer Bhandari, senior counsel K. K. Venugopal appearing for the TDB said the proposals were submitted and there was no response from the Special Commissioner.
Senior counsel T. L. Viswanath Iyer, appearing for the Special Commissioner, sought time to file the reply. At this juncture, the Bench asked the parties to sit together and sort out the differences so that it could consider passing an order next Friday making the stay absolute in terms of the proposals agreed.
The board said the following category of persons should be admitted in the enclosure in front of the sreekovil for darshan without causing any obstruction to the pilgrims who are standing in the general queue. Devaswom personnel who are `Ooralars/functionaries of the temple; devotees who have taken tickets for various poojas; guests/dignitaries who have security cover and children and physically challenged persons accompanied by one person only.
Darshan for these categories would be during puja only. The temple would be open for 15 hours a day and total time of 2 hours and 45 minutes would be set apart for special darshan divided into four occasions both in the morning and evening.