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Kerala High Court Raises Permissible Number Of Daily Pilgrims At Sabarimala Temple As 10000

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
13 March 2021 12:33 PM GMT
Kerala High Court Raises Permissible Number Of Daily Pilgrims At Sabarimala Temple As 10000
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A report filed in Court by the Sabarimala Special Commissioner stated that although the entire 5,000 slots in the virtual queue were booked, the actual turnout of devotees remained far below this number.

On Friday, March 12, 2021, the Kerala High Court raised the cap on the number of devotees allowed into the Sabarimala Temple from 5,000 to 10,000.A Bench of Justices C.T. Ravikumar and Murali Purushothaman issued an order to this effect, disposing of suo motu proceedings taking cognizance of the under-utilisation of the virtual queue system.A report filed in Court by the Sabarimala...

On Friday, March 12, 2021, the Kerala High Court raised the cap on the number of devotees allowed into the Sabarimala Temple from 5,000 to 10,000.

A Bench of Justices  C.T. Ravikumar and Murali Purushothaman issued an order to this effect, disposing of suo motu proceedings taking cognizance of the under-utilisation of the virtual queue system.A report filed in Court by the Sabarimala Special Commissioner stated that although the entire 5,000 slots in the virtual queue were booked, the actual turnout of devotees remained far below this number. Pointing to the daily turn-out of devotees when the temple opened for the five-day monthly pujas in February, the report stated that some who had booked virtual queue slots were deliberately not turning up at the temple.Noting that genuine devotees were being deprived of an opportunity to attend the darshan on account of the overbooking, the Court directed the State to examine the issue and see whether there were unlawful gains or losses being made by the same.

At the hearing on Friday, the Court opined that the cap on devotees could be raised to 10,000. However, the virtual queue system presently in use would continue to be utilised, the Court made clear, rejecting the Special Commissioner's submission seeking a dismantling of the system.With the Court's order, 10,000 devotees will daily be allowed entry into the temple, after duly booking a slot via the Kerala Police's portal www.sabarimala.org. It was underscored that entry would be permitted only upon the production of a Covid negative RT-PCR report within 48 hours.

In December, the High Court had raised the number of permissible daily pilgrims at Sabarimala temple as 5000 from 1000.Prior to this, a High Level Committee under the Chairmanship of the Kerala Chief Minister had decided on October 5 to permit pilgrimage at Sabarimala during the present mandalakalam season allowing 1000 daily pilgrims on weekdays and 2000 daily pilgrims on weekends and 5000 daily pilgrims on special pooja days. The pilgrims were required to register through the virtual queue system and to provide Covid negative certificate from an authorized lab. In its December 2020 order, the High Court had mandated obtaining an RT-PCR Test, holding that the antigen test could not be considered as a conclusive test positivity for Covid-19.

Standing Counsel G. Biju represented the Travancore Devaswom Board in the proceedings.

Click here for the Court's Order dated March 5, 2021

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