Madras HC grants stay on imposing dress code for temple entry

Chennai : The Madras High Court on Monday granted interim stay on the order passed by a single judge on November 26, directing the Tamil Nadu Government to implement a dress code for men, women and even children wanting to enter almost all temples across the state from January 1.

Justices V. Ramasubramanian and N. Kirubakaran of the Madurai bench granted the interim stay on a writ appeal preferred by the state government and argued by Advocate General A.L. Somayaji, who contended that it may not be possible to force devotees and others to wear only those dresses which were prescribed by the single judge.

The Advocate General argued that there could be a conflict between the code prescribed by the single judge and the Tamil Nadu Temple Entry Authorisation Act, 1947, which prescribes several restrictions on entry into temples besides permitting individual temple managements to prescribe dress code as per the their customary and traditional practices.

According to the prescribed dress code, men were asked to wear ‘dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts’, women ‘sari or half sari or churidhar with upper cloth’ and children could come in ‘any fully-covered dress’. (ANI)