CHENNAI: The Thenkalai sect of Vaishnavites alone will have the right to recite hymns saluting their guru, at Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram now, as a special bench of Madras high court kept in abeyance a single judge order permitting Vadakalai devotees also sing the hymns.
On May 14, the assistant commissioner/executive trustee, Arulmighu Devarajaswamy Thirukkovil had issued a notice laying down rules such as only Thenkalai devotees would sing hymns and they alone would sit in the front two rows. Assailing the order, a writ petition was filed, and Justice SM Subramaniam on May 17 permitted both sects to sing hymns for their respective gurus.
However, hearing an appeal filed by a Thenkalai sect member on Friday, the special bench of Justice R Mahadevan and Justice G K Ilanthiraiyan said the order passed by a single judge as well as the May 14 notice of the executive officer shall be kept in abeyance. “As agreed by both the parties in order to give quietus to the issues involved herein, all the connected matters are directed to be posted after summer vacation along with present writ appeals after obtaining orders from hon’ble chief justice,” said the judges.
The mirasidar practice of Tenkalai sect chanting mantras before the deity and giving prasadam exists for over 300 years, argued senior counsel P Wilson, representing Vadakalai sect, adding that the right was confirmed by a decree in 1915. Vadakalai had no orders in their favour till today, he said seeking quashing of the single judge order. He said a routine and periodical notice of the executive officer, merely asking devotees to follow court rulings, had been tinkered with.