The Madras High Court on Monday put an interim stay on the order by a single-judge bench in November that brought in a strict dress code for worshippers visiting temples in Tamil Nadu run by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (HR and CE) Department.
A Division Bench of the Madras High Court Bench stayed the 26 November order after it was contended that the dress code prescribed by the judge could be in conflict with the Tamil Nadu Temple Entry Authorisation Act, 1947 , which allows individual temple authorities to prescribe their own norms as per their customs, according to The Hindu.
Justice S Vaidyanathan of the Madras High Court had prescribed "a sari or a half sari or churidhar with upper cloth" for women and "dhoti or pyjama with upper cloth or formal pants and shirts" for men.
"The police shall not allow devotees inside any Hindu Temple of Tamil Nadu who wear dresses other than the one prescribed," the judge had said.
The dress code set down by the judge came into effect on 1 January, 2016, but has now been put on hold till 18 January. Several temples had put up boards to inform devotees of this dress code.
The Tamil Nadu government had challenged the order. Additional Advocate General (AAG) K Chellapandian told the Madras High Court it was not possible to have a uniform dress code across temples in the state.
A member of the Southern Districts Women Federation had also filed a writ appeal against the temple dress code claiming it went against fundamental rights, according to The Hindu.