The Court observed that Sabarimala welcomed devotees from all faiths and was a symbol of communal harmony.
While considering a petition seeking to restrict entry of non-Hindus in Sabarimala temple, the High Court of Kerala orally observed that Sabarimala belonged to all and not just Hindus. The petition filed by T G Mohandas, Convenor of BJP State Intellectual Cell, contended that non-Hindus and non-idol worshippers cannot be permitted entry on the basis of SC judgment in Indian Young Lawyers' Association case.
The Division Bench of Justice P R Ramachandra Menon and Justice Devan Ramachandran criticized the tone and tenor of the petition as tending to disrupt secular fabric of society. The Court observed that Sabarimala welcomed devotees from all faiths and was a symbol of communal harmony.
"Even persons without "irumudikettu"-the customary travel pouch carried by devotees containing offerings to Lord Ayyapa-could have "darshan". The "irumudikkettu" was necessary only to enter temple through the holy 18 steps", remarked the Court.
The petition was posted after two weeks for the response of State and Dewaswom.
The petition contended that efforts by the state police is not to facilitate entry of Hindu- woman for worship but to prove some points to their credit and to hurt the religious sentiments of devotees of Ayyappa.
“The persons who were escorted to Sabrimala by the police included non-Hindus and with disorderly behavior who fall within the purview of Rule 3(d). Thus on the pretext of implementing Hon’ble Supreme Court Judgement, the Respondents are flouting the very purpose of Constitutional Bench judgment bringing parity with Hindu devotees, men and woman. They are also flouting the Rules in force till now,” Mohandas said in the writ petition.
The Court also considered another petition which sought judicial enquiry into alleged police atrocities against devotees who were carrying out peaceful protests against women entering temple. The Court observed that action should be taken against those police officials who acted disproportionately, as evident from several videos and directed the State to file a report to that effect.
Today, the Court also disposed of a plea by four women for police protection to offer worship at Sabarimala. The Court termed the apprehension of women petitioners "premature", and closed the petition recording the undertaking of State Attorney that all efforts will be taken by State to maintain law and order and ensure safety of genuine devotees.