The Kerala government on Thursday approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s decision to set up a three-member committee for “overall supervision” at Sabarimala temple where the annual pilgrim season is underway.
Taking note of allegations of police excess at the temple, the High Court had on November 27 formed a committee comprising two of its former judges and an IPS officer to oversee security and other arrangements at the hill shrine, where tension has been simmering since the September 28 verdict of the apex court lifting age restrictions on entry of women.
The HC order came as a setback to the Pinarayi Vijayan government which had mobilised a huge contingent of police at Sabarimala, purportedly to implement the SC verdict.
The government said the High Court order amounted to “interference with the executive function of the state”. It said that several petitions were filed in the High Court after the Supreme Court and contended that “many such petitions are motivated without basis…”
The government pointed out that the High Court had from time to time set up committees for various matters in Sabarimala and four committees, including the committee of observers, were currently active.
It said the “High Court appears to have entered the domain of pure administrative functions, including maintaining of law and order in a sensitive zone”. The plea said the “state administration has to effectively control and manage the pilgrimage smoothly which interalia includes the law and order situation which has taken a serious turn… Police bandobast is necessary in view of large number of pilgrims (about 75,000 every day) during this period”.