The Kerala High Court has rejected a petition seeking permission to install saffron flags on the premises of a temple in a village in Alappuzha, Live Law reported on Thursday.

“Temples stand as beacons of spiritual solace and tranquility, their sanctity and reverence being of paramount importance,” a single bench of Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan V said on September 5. “Such hallowed spiritual grounds must not be diminished by political maneuverings or attempts at one-upmanship.”

The court was hearing a petition filed by two persons who said they are devotees of deity Parthasarathy at the Muthupilakkadu Sree Parthasarathy temple in Bharanikavu village in Alappuzha district.

In their plea, they contended that their attempts to put up saffron flags on temple premises during special occasions and festivals were thwarted by some people, who allegedly used their political influence. They had sought police protection from the court, according to Bar and Bench.

At the hearing, advocate PS Appu, appearing for the state government, argued that if the court agrees to the petitioner’s demand, the temple could be used as a battleground for political one-upmanship.

The counsel told the court that there have been several clashes in the temple premises due to the actions of the petitioners, one of whom is involved in criminal cases, according to Live Law.

Appu also pointed out that the temple’s administrative committee has passed a resolution prohibiting the installation of flags and banners of any political parties or organisations within 100 meters of the temple.

The court said that the petitioners did not demonstrate any legitimate authority to conduct temple rituals.

“Furthermore, they cannot be allowed to erect flags or festoons in or around the temple, in light of the orders issued by this court and decision taken by the administrative committee,” the court said in its order. “The actions and intentions of the petitioners are clearly at odds with the serene and sacred atmosphere to be maintained in the temple.”