By Our Legal Corrrespondent
New Delhi, Nov 10 (IVC) The Supreme Court on Nov 08 did not vacate or modify its September 25 interim order issuing status quo in the Archakaship in the temples governed by the age-old Agamas in Tamil Nadu.
The status quo order was passed on the basis of a series of petitions alleging that the State government was attempting to appoint “non-believers” as Archakas (priests) contrary to the Agamas (post-Vedic scripture of ritual knowledge).
“Let our status quo order continue. Heavens will not fall”, Justice M M Sundresh , on a Bench headed by Justice A S Bopanna said ,listing the case for January 25, 2024 training school. “
Senior Advocate Dusayant Dave, appearing for the State Government, urged the court to lift the stay order. Mr Dave said the status quo order would freeze the filling of 2405 vacancies for Archakaship in the Agamic temples. Further, it would impact the required training contemplated for persons who had completed courses from the Archaka training school .”This will cause great hardship in performing poojas in Agamic temples”, he stressed.
The government had filed an urgent application for the vacation of the interim order on the petitions filed by several parties , including All India Adi Saiva Sivachayargal Seva Association , represented by senior advocates Guru Krishnakumar, P Valliappan and advocate C Balaji to quash the government directives in July and August to “ train persons in the performance of poojas/ceremonies/rituals, contrary to the Agamas”.
Senior advocates C S Vaidyanathan and Vikas Singh , also for the petitioners arraigned against the State government , said the government by “appointing and transferring Archakas , has virtually taken over the running of the Agama temples”. Mr Dave countered that appointments were a secular function of the government.