Let expert panel select Kerala head priests: minister

September 28th, 2008 - 7:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 28 (IANS) The selection of the head priests to the Sabarimala and Malikapuram temples in Kerala should be handed over to an expert panel, State Devasom Minister G. Sudhakaran said here Sunday.Sudhakaran told IANS: “I have already informed the High Court that the selection should be done by an expert panel as recommended by the Justice Paripoornan Commission.”

He said he is not aware of a TV report that claims one has to pay Rs.3 million to be included in the list from which the head priests of both these temples would be taken by way of draw of lots.

“I have been away for the past two days and hence do not know what is happening. But now that this report has come out, an inquiry would be conducted,” said Sudhakaran.

Justice Paripoornan, a retired judge, recently submitted his report to the Kerala High Court after probing anomalies in the administration and conduct of rituals in the Sabarimala temple.

The report aired by the TV channel says that 82 people have applied for the post of head priest to the Sabarimala and 48 have applied for the Malikapuram temple. From them, nine priests would be selected through personal interviews to be conducted here Oct 6, 7 and 10.

And from them, the head priests of the two temples would be selected through draw of lots.

Once the selection is done, all those who have not been selected will be returned the three cheques that they have given to the selection committee and the two who are selected will have to pay in cash and collect their cheques, according to the report.

The TV report points out that the interview of the head priest would be conducted by the officials of the Travancore Devasom Board which manages the affairs of these temples and all temples in the south Kerala districts.

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