Tamil Nadu: No more passes to VIPs in temples?

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Srigangam temple
Chennai, Jun 13: The Madras High Court on Tuesday suggested that the VVIP and VIP passes to the pass holders for visiting temples in Tamil Nadu be scrapped or clear guidelines be framed for them as it is done in neighbouring states.

"The Advocate General is directed to seek instructions as to why the government should not come out with clear guidelines as to who shall be exceptionally treated and further as to why this pass system be not abolished as has been done in other temples in the states of Kerala and Andhra Pradesh," the court said.

The observations were made by Chief Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam on a PIL filed by Petitioner J Prabhakaran, an advocate, who alleged that the state Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments department issued VIP and VVIP passes to the holders during important occasions like New Year and Vaikunta Ekadasi at the Srirangam temple.

He further alleged that because of the passes, the holders entered the temple through a special entrance, blocking the darshan of other devotees during important religious festivals.

Referring to the difficulties faced by devotees at the Srirangam Temple, the petitioner said that in a bid to ensure that lakhs of devotees got a chance to have a darshan of the deity, a separate schedule for pass holders be allotted as being done at the Lord Venkateshwara temple in Tirumala-Tirupati.

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