Law Commission moots establishing institutions to train 'Purohits'

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Kochi, Nov 6 (UNI) Kerala Law Reforms Commission Chairman Justice V R Krishna Iyer in a draft bill for the 'Secular Norms for Administration of Places of Public Worship Bill' mooted that the State Government should establish one or more institutions for imparting training to candidates on Vedas and other teachings of Hindu theology to qualify them as 'Purohithans' or priests.

The bill suggests that ''the Government shall at least within one year from the date of commencement of this Act establish one or more institutions for giving training to lead a life of moral cleanliness, Hindu philosophy based on Vedas, Upanishads and other great teaching of Hindu theology and to perform pujas according to legally and spiritually accepted religious principles in all places of public worship and shrines belonging to Hindus.'' The draft bill, which was released today to elicit public opinion, also states that no person shall claim to be a 'Purohithan' on the ground of family heritage, succession or other extraneous consideration.

The 'Purohithan' should be a person who had successfully completed the course of study in the relevant field from a recognised institution.

It also mentions that the Government should constitute a Board consisting of chairmen or presidents of all Devaswom Boards and frame rules for admission and formulate syllabus for the course concerned.

The draft bill also mulled that appointment should be made through the Board and only qualified 'Purohitans' appointed at temples including Sabarimala and Guruvayur temple.

It also stated that people belonging to all religions should be allowed to places of public worship.

''It shall be the State policy to permit all persons to enter into all places of worship irrespective of religion, caste, sect or other differences subject to rules laid down by the authority in management of the place of worship and not opposed to law and intended to maintain public order, decency, morality or beliefs considered as essential attribute of the religion,'' the draft bill stated.

UNI MA SY NS1855

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