The Supreme Court on Friday rejected an urgent hearing of the Kerala government’s plea challenging the High Court’s order appointing a monitoring committee to look into security and other concerns at the Sabarimala temple, PTI reported. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said the state’s petition against the three-member panel would be taken up during regular proceedings.
The Pinarayi Vijayan-led government had also sought transferring to the Supreme Court 23 petitions on the Sabarimala matter which are pending before the High Court, Live Law reported. The top court turned down this request too.
Some of the petitions challenge the prohibitory orders in place at Sabarimala and the police presence there, calling it an invasion of the right to worship. Other pleas allege excessive interference by the Kerala government or lack of facilities for devotees. Some petitions also seek police protection for women attempting to enter the shrine.
Meanwhile, the Kerala High Court granted conditional bail to state Bharatiya Janata Party General Secretary K Surendran, in a case of conspiracy to attack a 52-year-old woman who attempted to enter the Sabarimala shrine. He will not be allowed to enter Pathanamthitta district, where the temple is located, for two months, The News Minute reported. He must also furnish a bond of Rs 2 lakh, and surrender his passport before a trial court.
On September 27, the Supreme Court overturned a ban on the entry of women of menstruating age to the temple. So far, protesting devotees have not allowed women between the ages of 10 and 50 to enter the shrine.
On November 22, the Kerala High Court had said that Sabarimala pilgrims cannot be prevented from moving in groups and chanting devotional songs to Lord Ayyappa. A division bench of the High Court issued the order based on pleas by several organisations against the imposition of prohibitory orders at Sabarimala.