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Kerala HC seeks answer from FSD in Sabarimala Halal Jaggery Case

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Shivani Gadhavi –

Published On: November 21, 2021 at 18:51 IST

The Kerala High Court on 15th November, 2021 ordered the Commissioner of the Food Safety Department to submit a report explaining on the ongoing allegation made through a plea regarding the usage of halal jaggery in the preparation of prasadam and nivedyam.

A Division Bench of Justices Anil K. Narendran and P.G. Ajithkumar issued the order on a petition filed by an individual named SJR Kumar from Kochi.

V Sajith Kumar, the advocate representing the petitioner, stated that Halal-certified jaggery is being used in the preparation of temple’s prasadam and nivedyam which is as per the religious practices of another religion and offering the same to the Lord would amount to serious violation of religious customs and rituals followed at the temple.

The petition stated, ‘that in view of the recent controversy as regards spitting on food materials to make it Halal. … It is highly disheartening to see that food materials prepared following the rituals and religious practices of another religion with its certification are accepted as food material for the preparation of Nivedyam/Prasada in a Hindu temple having its own rituals and customs.’

The Court also sought answers from Travancore Devaswom Board, the organization which handles the matters of the temple.

The Travancore Devaswom Board responded,‘Around three lakh kg was remaining during the beginning of 2020 and there was not much use of jaggery due to COVID-19. The food and safety authority conducted an inspection in August 2021 and found that these cannot be used for the preparation of Aravana. Hence, that jaggery was auctioned by the TDB. The bidder had taken the jaggery to breweries and distilleries.’

The TDB argued that the plea is a malicious attempt to ruin the reputation the pilgrimage and the board and to stop the sale of Appam and Aravana at the Sabrimala Temple.