New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined urgent hearing on a fresh plea of the Kerala government challenging the Kerala High Court decision to set up a panel to oversee pilgrimage at Sabarimala, which has witnessed protests after women of all age groups were allowed entry into the temple.
The Kerala High Court, on November 28, ordered setting up of a three member committee, comprising retired judges PR Raman, S Sirijagan and senior IPS officer A Hemachandran, and gave them the power to oversee law and order and other problems faced by pilgrims.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice
SK Kaul refused to accord urgent hearing on the plea of the state government and said that it would come up for hearing in due regular course.
“Order of constituting a team of observers, particularly when there is already a Special Commissioner (who is a District Judge), a Devaswom ombudsman exercising powers, inter alia, over Sabarimala
Temple, and a High Power Committee is unsustainable in law and such constitution of Team of Observers is arbitrary, illegal and violative of the basic constitutional structure of separation of powers,” the state government said in its plea. The government has assailed the HC order and submitted that the police has “effectively streamlined the
protestors and has worked out a security system for the Temple, particularly on the basis of intelligence inputs” and that the High Court-appointed panel would take over the powers of the duly authorised security agency.
Earlier, the state government had moved the top court seeking transfer of pending pleas relating to the Sabarimala Temple from the High Court to the apex court.