Terming the practice as “undesired and unhealthy”, the Supreme Court today asked all states and union territories (UTs) to strictly follow the Centre’s advisory on checking the practice of forcing young girls to serve as ‘Devadasis’.
A bench comprising Justices F M I Kalifullah and S A Bobde took on record the advisory of the Ministry of Home Affairs and disposed of a PIL filed by Kerala-based NGO S L Foundation.
The MHA has sent the advisory to all states and UTs on December 22.
‘Devadasis’ are women dedicated to temple services for the rest of their lives and many of them are often victims of sexual abuse.
State laws like the Karnataka Devadasis Prohibition of Dedication Act, 1982 and Maharashtra Devadasis Abolition Act, 2006 have completely abolished such practices, the counsel appearing for the Centre said.
Additional Solicitor General Pinky Anand also said that the ‘Devadasis system’ is in contravention of various IPC provisions. It is prohibited under Section 370 and 370 A of the Indian Penal Code as amended through the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013, she added.
“The Union government has issued advisory to all states and UTs to stop illegal activities of subjecting young girls into Devadasis system. Having regard to its laudable objectives, we refer it to all states and UTs to strictly implement the directives to check such unethical practice,” it said and disposed of the PIL of the issue.
( Source – PTI )