The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with the Kerala High Court’s order appointing a ‘committee of observers’ for the Sabarimala temple and asked the state to approach the High Court if it wants any modification.
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta said in its order, “Having heard learned counsel for the petitioners and upon perusing the relevant material, we are not inclined to interfere. However, the petitioners may seek modification/alteration of the order…by filing an appropriate application before High Court.”
The bench also dismissed two petitions filed by the CPI(M)-led Left government in the state, seeking transfer of all matters pending before the High Court in the matter to the top court, after the state government’s counsel said that he did not wish to press the petitions.
In its order, dated November 27, 2018, the High Court had set up a ‘committee of observers’ comprising two former HC judges and a serving IPS officer for “overall supervision and powers to take on-the-spot decisions, or to give proper instructions to all concerned to give effect to this order” The committee was is to “ensure that smooth pilgrimage is facilitated and their occurs no excuse from any corner” in respect of Sabarimala temple.
The order came in the wake of allegations of police high-handedness during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season and was a setback for the state government, which claimed it was only trying to implement the September 28, 2018 Supreme Court order lifting age restrictions on entry of women to the temple. The top court has reserved its order on a bunch of petitions seeking review of that judgment.
The bench also dismissed a petition seeking fixing of bus fares of state transport corporation buses to the hill shrine.
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