‘Women can officiate as priests’

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: The State Government on Tuesday submitted to the Karnataka High Court that there is no bar on woman archakas (priests) from offering or conducting prayers in temples. The Government made this submission when the court was hearing a petition by a woman from Huliyurdurga challenging the refusal by the male archakas in permitting her to conduct prayers at the temple. The Government said the Supreme Court had held that women could be appointed as archakas. The court directed the Government to file its statement.

Stay of notices

In a major relief to nationalised banks, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday stayed demand notices issued to them by the Commercial Tax Department asking them to pay professional tax.

Justice Nagmohan Das passed the order on petitions by State Bank of Mysore challenging the levy of professional tax on each of its branches and ATMs. The bank said the Commercial Tax Department had levied professional tax of Rs. 2,500 on each branch and ATM. It said the department had demanded payment of arrears of professional tax for the last six years.