The Kerala High Court on Thursday stayed an order easing the dress code for women entering Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple. The verdict comes a week after the temple administration eased the dress code for women to salwar kameez from dhoti/mundu or sari.
On November 30, the temple’s executive officer, KN Satheesh, had issued a notice lifting the directive that women can enter the premises either with a dhoti draped over their clothing or in sari. The high court, which was hearing a number of petitions in the matter, observed that the executive officer does not have the authority to change religious customs and ordered for the dress code to be retained.
The court further added that the chief priest had the final say on the dress code to be imposed inside Padmanabhaswamy temple, local daily Mathrubhumi reported. Satheesh said he accepted the verdict.
The dress code was changed last week after a woman advocate moved the high court against the discriminatory rule. The petitioner, Riya Raje, had pointed out that customs and traditions demanded “decent clothing” in places of worship, not a particular kind of dress. Raje said she will challenge the latest high court ruling in the Supreme Court.
The Kerala court verdict comes even as the Allahabad High Court on Thursday asserted that the personal law of any community cannot be above the Constitution.