Thiruvananthapuram: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) did not take a decision to oppose the review petitions against a Supreme Court order that allowed women of all ages to go to the Sabarimala temple, the minutes of a meeting showed.
The meeting on November 7 only arrived at a decision to tell the court that the board was duty-bound to accept the judgment and ready to implement any order that settled the review petitions, according to documents accessed by Onmanorama.
On Wednesday, however, the board counsel told the court that the review petitions were unnecessary and the temple rituals were not above the Constitution.
The submission does not seem to be in agreement with the November meeting, which was convened to take stock of the situation after the Supreme Court judgement in the case on September 28.
The board met to form strategies in the court as a few individuals and associations vowed to file review petitions against the order.
"The current board had taken the same stand as the previous board when the Supreme Court heard arguments related to women's entry to Sabarimala. The current board could not submit all its arguments because of time constraints," the minutes read.
"Any judgement of the court is the law of the land. The board has a legal duty to abide by the judgement. So the board is going forward on a course to abide by the judgement. The board has taken all actions to provide maximum facilities to younger women devotees within the constraints of Sabarimala."
The violent protests near the sanctum sanctorum during Thulam puja and Chithira Attam also came up for discussion in the meeting.
"Women devotees who went to the temple had to backtrack after several organisations with political motives protested violently. The board is responsible for the implementation of any order that followed the review petitions. We will inform these things to the court."
The board meeting on November 7 also decided to assign lawyers and to release money for the lawyers and the commissioner to fly to Delhi. The board commissioner is tasked with managing legal affairs in the court.
The board also decided to consult board recruitment chairman and former board president Rajagopalan Nair and to pay Rs 50,000 to the advocates in advance.
TDB president A Padmakumar and several other associations have alleged that the board counsel effectively opposed the review petitions even though the formal decision was to buy time before women were admitted to the shrine.