The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Shobha Surendran against police action at Sabarimala, and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on her. A division bench of Chief Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice AK Jayasankaran said that the plea was filed with “mischievous intentions” and for “cheap publicity”, Live Law reported.
Surendran had contended that the police harassed pilgrims headed to the Sabarimala temple and wanted disciplinary action against police officials. She also wanted the court to tell the state government and Kerala Director General of Police Lokanath Behera to furnish a list of the devotees who were arrested for protesting the Supreme Court’s September judgement permitting women of all ages to enter the shrine.
The counsel for Surendran claimed that a police officer in Sabarimala subjected even a Union minister and a High Court judge to rude behaviour. However, the court described the plea as “perverse” and said that it cannot be made a place for “experimental litigation”.
“Weird allegations were raised in the court,” the bench said according to Mathrubhumi. “The petition was unnecessary. People should not use the court for cheap publicity.”
Though Surendran’s counsel apologised and sought permission to withdraw the PIL, the bench imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 on the BJP leader. It said the fine should be deposited with the Kerala Legal Services Authority, which provides free legal aid to people.
The Kerala Police on Sunday arrested nine BJP leaders for violating prohibitory orders at Nilakkal base camp near the temple, which opened on November 16 for the third time since the Supreme Court in September allowed entry to women of all ages. So far, massive protests have prevented all women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering the temple.