In a setback for the Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala, the Supreme Court Friday refused an urgent hearing of its petition challenging the Kerala High Court’s decision to set up a three-member monitoring committee for “overall supervision” at Sabarimala temple where the annual pilgrim season is underway. A bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, said the plea will be taken up in regular court.
On November 27, the High Court formed a committee, comprising two former judges and an IPS officer, to oversee security arrangements at the Sabarimala temple. The order came in the wake of protests at the hill shrine, after the Supreme Court on September 28 lifted the ban on women of all ages entering the temple.
The Kerala government, which had beefed up security in Sabarimala to implement the apex court order, had argued that the high court order amounted to “interference with the executive function of the state”.
It added that the “High Court appears to have entered the domain of pure administrative functions, including maintaining of law and order in a sensitive zone”.
Supreme Court turns down Kerala govt plea for urgent hearing of its petitions challenging the state High Court order appointing a committee of observers for #Sabarimala & seeking transfer of petitions pending in HC on the issue to the SC. @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) December 7, 2018
The plea stated that the “state administration has to effectively control and manage the pilgrimage smoothly which inter alia 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”.
The government had also sought transfer of petitions pending in the HC on the issue to the apex court.