The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the Tamil Nadu government on a plea by Dr. Subramanian Swamy questioning a State law authorising the government control over temples and appointment of non-Brahmins as archakas (priests).
A Bench led by Justice Hemant Gupta issued notice and tagged it with another petition from 2012.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin had issued an order appointing non-Brahmins as priests in various temples. The State's Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department had given appointment letters to 208 such priests.
Mr. Swamy sought an interim stay of the appointments order. "Please give an interim stay on the appointment of archakas by the State government, which is an atheistic government," he submitted.
The decision to appoint these archakas had met with hostility by a powerful lobby which said it stuck at the "heart of the tradition of appointing priests in Vedic temples on the basis of birth, an exclusive preserve of the Brahmin community."