The High Court of Kerala observed that police excess cannot be permitted in Sabarimala in the guise of implementing the SC judgment on women entry. The special bench for consideration of Devaswom Matters orally remarked that police arrangements were causing hardships to genuine devotees.
Justice P R Ramachandra Menon, who heads the bench, asked the State Attorney under what authority police can restrict devotees’ right to worship. Police cannot be present in the Nadappandal, which is a resting place for devotees; the place of police is in the barracks, observed Justice Menon. He also asked the State Attorney K V Sohan as to who gave police the authority to pump water at the sacred sannidhanam area.
The bench made reference to the recommendations in the Special Commissioner’s report that a Special Police Team having requisite experience and sensitivity in managing pilgrims at holy places should be constituted at Sabarimala. The bench, also comprising Justice N Anilkumar, enquired whether such a team was constituted.
Justice Menon also remarked that the state carrier KSRTC had committed failure in conducting regular services to Pampa. If this situation continues, the Court may issue directions to permit use of private vehicles till Pampa, ending the monopoly of KSRTC. Also, adequate stalls for food and water are not there in between Nilackal and Sannidhanam. This is causing huge inconvenience to devotees.
The Court asked for the presence of the Advocate General at 1.45 PM today to offer explanation on the above concerns.