Begin typing your search above and press return to search.
News Updates

Kerala High Court Seeks Report On Alleged Use Of Spoiled Halal Certified Jaggery To Prepare Prasadam At Sabarimala

Hannah M Varghese
17 Nov 2021 12:30 PM GMT
Kerala High Court Seeks Report On Alleged Use Of Spoiled Halal Certified Jaggery To Prepare Prasadam At Sabarimala
x

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday called for the response of the State and the Travancore Devaswom Board on a plea alleging that spoiled halal-certified jaggery was being used to prepare Nivedyam and Prasadam at Sabarimala.A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K Narndran and Justice PG Ajith Kumar also directed the Sabarimala Special Commissioner to file a report on the...

The Kerala High Court on Wednesday called for the response of the State and the Travancore Devaswom Board on a plea alleging that spoiled halal-certified jaggery was being used to prepare Nivedyam and Prasadam at Sabarimala.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Anil K Narndran and Justice PG Ajith Kumar also directed the Sabarimala Special Commissioner to file a report on the matter immediately. 

The petitioner is a devotee of Lord Ayappa and the present General Convenor of Sabarimala Karma Samithi, an organization to protect the customs and traditions at Sabarimala Temple.

In his plea filed through Advocate V Sajith Kumar, he has asserted that the use of Satwik/pure materials for the preparation of Nivedyam is an age-old practice and highly necessary to maintain customary practices and beliefs at the Sabarimala Temple. 

He alleged that to the surprise of the devotees, the temple administration was using spoiled Halal certified Jaggery powder for the preparation of Nivedyam and Prasada at Sabarimala.

According to the petitioner, the actions on the part of the respondents invite two serious illegalities:

1) Use of spoiled materials would create health hazards to innocent devotees.

2) Use of Halal Certified Jaggery which is prepared as per the religious practices of another religion in the temple and offering the same to the deity would amount to serious violation of religious customs and rituals followed at the temple from time immemorial.

"The use of Halal certified food materials, which is specifically prepared as per the religious beliefs of another community, is not a Satwik/pure material to be offered to Lord Ayyappa, a Naishtika Brahmachari meditating in Yoga asana."

The plea also read: 

"The religious scholars of the Muslim community have been proclaiming publicly that saliva is a necessary ingredient for certifying Halal in the preparation of food materials. The religious scholars took the above view by interpreting holy texts and its valid interpretations. However, different views were also expressed by a section of religious leaders. In view of the recent controversy as regards spitting on food materials to make it Halal and the responses from religious scholars, people at large are highly anxious and obnoxious on the use of Halal certified food materials even for household purposes. It is highly disheartening to see that the food materials prepared following the rituals and religious practices of another religion with its certification are accepted as food material for the preparation of Nivedyam/Prasada in a Hindu temple having its own rituals and customs." 

The actions on the part of the Temple administration are highly illegal and violative of religious rights guaranteed under Part III of the Constitution of India, it was contended. 

However, the Travancore Devaswom Board vehemently opposed the allegations in the petition. It argued that new jaggery was being used at Sabarimala this year and that the contentions raised by the petitioner are incorrect and baseless.

It was also submitted that the manufacturers of the said jaggery were exporting to Arabian countries as well, which is why some packets contain the halal seal.

The Court accordingly directed the Board to file a statement elaborating on these aspects. 

Case Title: SJR Kumar v. Travancore Devaswom Board

Next Story