Sabarimala: Kerala High Court rejects plea demanding Devaswom Board seek review of SC verdict

The Kerala High Court on Thursday rejected a plea seeking to direct the Travancore Devaswom Board to file a review petition in the Supreme Court against the top court’s judgement allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple, Live Law reported.

Petitioner MK Gopinath argued that the board, which runs the hilltop shrine, is a trustee of Ayapppa and therefore had to act as per the deity’s wishes. The petitioner also urged the court to direct the state government to file an affidavit in the case, keeping in mind the desire of most Ayyappa devotees to preserve existing traditions.

However, Justices PR Ramachandra Menon and N Anilkumar said the government’s decision to not seek a review cannot be regarded as dereliction of statutory duty and does not warrant judicial interference. This came a day after the court dismissed a petition filed by the National Ayyaappa Devotees Association and others against the implementation of the top court’s judgement on the matter, saying the High Court was not in a position to “examine the scope and correctness” of the Supreme Court verdict, Live Law reported.

The court also dismissed former Travancore Devaswom Board President Prayar Gopalakrishnan’s petition seeking to remove current board President KP Sankardas, ANI reported. Gopalakrishnan had moved the court on Wednesday and claimed that Sankardas had violated the customs of the temple by climbing its 18 holy steps without the Irumudikettu – offerings carried by devotees for the deity – on November 5.

‘Protests are unacceptable’

Separately, the Kerala High Court on Thursday said the protests held outside the Sabarimala temple last month were unacceptable and went against the Supreme Court verdict that allowed women of all ages to enter the shrine, Live Law reported. The protestors did not allow women aged between 10 and 50 to enter the shrine’s premises.

“If the bail application is considered, it will send wrong signals and similar incidents will recur again,” IANS quoted the court as saying while turning down Kochi resident Govind Madhusudhan’s bail application. Madhusudhan, one of the protestors, was arrested in the temple town last month.

Massive protests broke out when the temple opened from October 17 to October 22. On November 5, the temple reopened again but women of menstruating age are yet to enter the shrine.

Article source: Kerala High Court

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