The Madras High Court on Monday stayed a recent order by a single judge directing the Tamil Nadu government to enforce a dress code for devotees visiting nearly all temples in the state.
The Madurai Bench granted an interim stay, in response to the appeal of the state government which had said that it was in contradiction with the Tamil Nadu Temple Entry Authorisation Act, 1947 which allows individual temples to frame their own rules.
An order of a single judge bench of the Madra High Court had said that with effect from January 1, all temples run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department, would have a particular dress code.
On January 3, Additional Advocate General (AAG) K Chellapandian had told the Court that it was not possible to have a uniform dress code across temples in the state.
Justice S Vaidyanathan had prescribed "a sari or a half sari or churidhar with upper cloth" for women and "dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts" for men on November 28.
"The police shall not allow devotees inside any Hindu Temple of Tamil Nadu who wear dresses other than the one prescribed," the judge had said.
The Hindu had earlier reported that even the Southern Districts Women Federation filed a writ appeal against the temple dress code, in which the group said that the dress code violated fundamental rights.