The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a writ petition seeking a direction to the Guruvayur Devaswom Board not to prohibit the entry of singer K.J. Yesudas into the Guruvayur Sreekrishna temple.
The court imposed a ‘symbolic order of costs' of Re.1 on the petitioner as it felt that “when unnecessary litigations of this nature flood the courts, they waste space, time as also judicial and executive energy which should otherwise be available for those who wait in the queue and are part of a large sector of docket of exclusion.”
The order was passed by a Division Bench of Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and P.S. Gopinathan in a petition filed by Lalitha Vasudevan of Elathur Amsom, Kozhikode.
The petitioner said that Mr. Yesudas was a devout Hindu and that no law prohibited such a person from entering the temple by observing all Hindu rites. Article 25 of the Constitution guaranteed the rights to the aforesaid acts and materials on record showed that Mr. Yesudas deserved to be allowed to enter the temple.
Counsel for the petitioner said the writ petition was filed not on behalf of the singer. The petitioner's case was that there was a violation of her fundamental rights, guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution, to propagate her religion, which included the right to insist that a person who believed in Hindu rites be permitted to enter the temple. Failure to permit the entry of Mr. Yesudas into the Guruvayur temple at the petitioner's request or insistence would amount to negation of her right to propagate her religion in terms of Article 25(1) of the Constitution.
The court, in its judgement, observed that the concepts of professing and propagating one's religion clearly showed that the right of a person to profess and propagate his or her religion did not include the right to insist that a third person be permitted to act in terms of a particular religion and its tenets. The right of the petitioner to freedom of conscience and her right to freely profess, practise and propagate her religion in connection with her faith, attendant to the Guruyavur temple, could not be mixed up with any similar right that Mr. Yesudas may claim, if he needed, the order said.