“From the case diary it is clear that the act of the petitioners and other accused is clear vigilantism”
“This kind of hooliganism cannot be viewed lightly. If this type of vigilantism is permitted the rule of law will break down”, remarked Pathanamthitta District and Sessions Court while dismissing bail applications of 5 persons arrested by Kerala Police for their ‘protests’ in Sabarimala.
The offence alleged against Shylesh and four others were under Sections 143, 144, 145, 147, 148, 188, 332, 333, 353, 283, 427 r/w sec.149 of the Indian Penal Code and Sec.3(2)(e) of the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, 1984. Before the court, they contended that are totally innocent of the allegations levelled against them and that they were implicated in the crime due to political influence.
The public prosecutor opposed their bail plea contending that they were trying to take law into their own hands in order to defeat the Constitution Bench decision of the Apex Court and if such activities are allowed to continue it will create havoc in the society and the rule of law will fail.
The Court took note of the submission by the Prosecutor that KSRTC buses sustained damage to the tune of six lakhs rupees in addition to revenue loss. The court also observed that police officers who were in duty sustained hurt also at the hands of accused and others.
It was then the Sessions Judge John.K.Illikkadan observed: “This kind of hooliganism cannot be viewed lightly. From the case diary it is clear that the act of the petitioners and other accused is clear vigilantism. At the time of argument the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that the petitioners and other devotees of Lord Ayyappa had not done any illegal acts as alleged but the police officials themselves destroyed the vehicles and cooked up this false case against the petitioners and other innocent devotees. The said argument of the learned counsel appearing for the petitioners is not able to swallow as such because in order to substantiate that argument no materials is available on record. If this type of vigilantism is permitted the rule of law will break down.
On 28th September, the Supreme Court permitted entry of women of all age groups to the Sabarimala temple, holding that ‘devotion cannot be subjected to gender discrimination’. Some Hindu groups have launched large scale protests against implementation of this judgment.
It is reported that the Police has so far arrested more than 3500 people in connection with the protests against ‘women’ entry in Sabarimala.
19 Review petitions have been filed against this judgment and the Supreme Court will consider these pleas after Diwali vacation. Meanwhile, three judge bench comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S. K. Kaul and K. M. Joseph will also consider three fresh petitions regarding the entry of menstruating women between the ages of 10 and 50 years to the Sabarimala, Temple on November 13.