Court justifies ‘paid darshan’ in temples

‘Places of worship which attract huge crowds may need regulation of darshan’

Court justifies ‘paid darshan’ in temples

Places of worship which attract huge crowds may need regulation of darshan’

The Madras High Court has refused to direct the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR&CE) Commissioner to abolish the practice of charging a fee to provide better opportunity to worship deities in temples from a shorter distance.

Referring to a similar plea having been rejected by the court last year, the first Division Bench of Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M. Sundar said the relief sought by the present petitioner, Indic Collective Trust, could not be granted since judicial propriety demands that judges follow the dictum laid down by a Bench of coordinate strength.

“In temples which attract huge crowds, which are sometimes unmanageable, particularly on festive occasions, some regulation of darshan may be necessary.

Longer duration

It may be open to impose charges and/or a fee for quicker entry, shorter queues and special darshan of longer duration and also to have special enclosures for such devotees,” the first Bench held.

Free entry

It, however, made it clear that the HR&CE authorities as well as the managements of individual temples in the State should provide for darshan of the deities from the entry point of ‘Artha Mandapam’ “irrespective of whether they pay or opt for free darshan as per their turn in the ordinary queue for free entry.”

#DIvotion #paid dharshan