ERNAKULAM: The Kerala High Court has stated that there were unnecessary individuals presences in the selection process for the Sabarimala temple’s Melsanthis (Head Priests).
The High Court’s observation came during the consideration of a petition aimed at halting the current Head Priests’ selection, citing alleged irregularities. The hearing of the plea has been adjourned, with the judgment expected tomorrow.
But the Travancore Devaswom Board informed the court that the selection process had been conducted with an ‘observer’ present, ensuring transparency in the process.
The petition was filed based on visual evidence from a news channel, wherein Madhusudhanan Namboothiri from Thiruvananthapuram claimed that the selected lot had been left exposed during the drawing process.
The selection of the new Melsanthis took place through a drawing of lots in front of the sanctum sanctorum at Sabarimala on October 18. Mahesh P N was chosen as the chief priest of the Ayyappa temple, and Murali P G as the chief priest of the Malikappuram Devi temple. They are scheduled to assume their roles on November 17, coinciding with the first day of the Malayalam month of Vrishchikam, which also marks the beginning of the Sabarimala Makarvilakku pilgrimage season.
The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple is set to open for Mandala Pooja on the evening of November 16, 2023.