At a time when the country is debating how far courts can interfere into religious customs in connection with the Sabarimala verdict, Madras Highcourt has made an interesting statement. Supreme court had lifted the ban on the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple which led to widespread protests in the state of Kerala. But here the Madras High Couret bench, comprising of Justice V Parthiban and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy, refused to delay the appointment of Yamunachariyar as the new pointiff of Srirangam mutt in Chennai’s Mylapore.
Claiming that the appointment is being made in violation of the will executed by late 11th pontiff ‘Srimath Srimushnam Andavan’ and the general customs of the mutt, S Venkata Varadhan, one of the followers of the mutt, wanted the high court to interfere and stay the ‘ashrama sweekaram and pattabhisheka utsavam’ of Yamunachariyar scheduled on October 20 and 21 at Srirangam Periya Ashramam. The Madras High Couret bench refused to delay the appointment of Yamunachariyar as the new pointiff of Srirangam mutt in Chennai’s Mylapore.
Referring to the contemporary circumstances, the Madras HC observed that secular courts must refrain from interfering with religious practices. The court also said that such issues are treated as private and not public since the mutt and its activities cater to a particular community.