Kottayam, November 8: The Kerala High Court on Thursday rejected the petition filed by the National Ayyappa Devotees Association and few others challenging the implementation of Supreme Court's verdict on women's entry at the Sabarimala temple. The plea said there was "no positive obligation" on the state government to enforce the SC order "which was declarationary".
The division bench of the court led by Justices P R Ramachandra Menon and N Anilkumar dismissed the petition, claiming that it was not mandated to go into the merits of a judgement delivered by the apex court. The bench further noted that since a review petition is already slated to be heard by the top court next week, the petitioners cannot claim "simultaneous reviews". Highlights of the SC Verdict on Women's Entry in Sabarimala Temple.
Petitioner’s counsel Advocate Mathews Nedumpara had appealed the Kerala HC to issue an order to the state government, directing it to not to implement the apex court's order in letter and spirit. It should, instead, be left on the devotees to decide, he said.
The bench, however, disagreed with his argument, claiming that the Supreme Court order implies that women of any age cannot be stopped from entering the hilltop shrine, neither by the state nor by the devotees.
Apart from dismissing the petition against implementation of SC verdict the court also rejected a bail plea filed by a native of Thrippunithura, who was one of the protesters arrested for stopping women devotees from entering the temple.
"Protest in Sabarimala Temple is against the SC's verdict. The strike there is not justifiable," the bench remarked, while cancelling his bail plea.
The court also junked a petition petition filed by Prayar Gopalakrishnan, the former Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) president, seeking removal of KP Sankardas, the current TDB Member, for allegedly violating the temple rituals.