Chennai: The Madras High Court on Wednesday suggested either scrapping issuing special passes to VVIPs or VIPs visiting temples in Tamil Nadu or framing clear guidelines for devotees as had been done in neighbouring states.

"The Advocate General is directed to seek instructions as to why the government should not come out with clear guidelines as to who shall be exceptionally treated and further as to why this pass system be not abolished as has been done in other temples in the states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh," the court said.

A bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam made the observations on a PIL petition alleging indiscriminate distribution of VIP passes during important occasions like the New Year and Vaikunda Ekadasi at the famous Srigangam temple.

Petitioner J Prabhakaran, an advocate, charged the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department with issuing VIP and VVIP passes during important religious festivals, entitling the holders to enter the temple through a special entrance and thereby impeding dharshan for others.

Besides, the large number of pass holders entering the sanctum sanctorum blocked the view of devotees.

Referring to such difficulties at Srirangam temple, the petitioner said in order to ensure that the lakhs of devotees, visiting the temple the year round, had darshan of the deity, VIP pass-holders could be could be allotted a separate schedule for darshan as being done at Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala-Tirupati.

The bench adjourned the matter by two weeks.


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