#Sabarimala: A Person's Right As A Devotee Cannot Be Stalled Citing His Criminal Background: Kerala HC

#Sabarimala: A Persons Right As A Devotee Cannot Be Stalled Citing His Criminal Background: Kerala HC

"In so far as the petitioner's right as a devotee cannot be prevented, or stalled but for imposing reasonable restrictions to the requisite extent, we find it appropriate to permit the petitioner to have the 'darsan' at Sabarimala.."

The Kerala High Court, on Wednesday, permitted a man, accused in various crimes, to have the 'darsan' of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, observing that his right as a devotee cannot be prevented or stalled merely because of his criminal background.

K. Ramesan had approached the High Court claiming that he has been visiting the Sabarimala Temple for the past 15 years and that he is being denied entry for darsan at Sabarimala citing his criminal background.

The Government pleader opposed his plea and told the court that his attempt is not to visit Sabarimala as a devotee; but to collect amounts from various traders at Sabarimala to whom amounts have been advanced by him as an unauthorised money lender. The Court was also apprised about various crimes that have been registered against him, in this regard. The Government pleader also submitted before the court that he was also arrayed as an accused in a murder case, though acquitted later for want of evidence.

The bench comprising Justice PR Ramachandra Menon and Justice N. Anil Kumar observed: "In so far as the petitioner's right as a devotee cannot be prevented, or stalled but for imposing reasonable restrictions to the requisite extent, we find it appropriate to permit the petitioner to have the 'darsan' at Sabarimala on the basis of the assurance and undertaking given by the learned counsel that the petitioner will not get involved in any offence punishable under any provisions of law, nor will he cause any act of threatening or intimidating anybody; whether it be the traders or others."

The bench also directed the police to monitor his activities at Sannidhanam.

Dismissed BJP Leader's Plea

Meanwhile, a single bench of the High Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by BJP state general secretary K Surendran seeking relaxation in bail conditions and to permit him to enter Sabarimala temple. Justice Raja Vijayaraghavan reportedly observed that plea of a person accused of attacking women pilgrim could not be allowed.

Read Judgment