Sabarimala: SC rejects Kerala govt’s plea to shift petitions in HC to apex court
Sabarimala: SC rejects Kerala govt’s plea to shift petitions in HC to apex court

Sabarimala: SC rejects Kerala govt’s plea to shift petitions in HC to apex court

Two petitions by the Kerala government and one by the Hindu Aikya Vedi were dismissed by the Supreme Court on Monday.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the Kerala government’s plea to shift all petitions on the Sabarimala issue, pending before the Kerala High Court, to the apex court. Rejecting the plea, the top court asked the Kerala government to approach the High Court for the modification of interim orders, according to a LiveLaw report.

Last December, the state government had filed a petition requesting for over 30 writ petitions which question excessive police deployment and security measures in the area and challenge the verdict allowing women’s entry into the Sabarimala temple, to be moved to the Supreme Court. After it was dismissed by the Supreme Court, the state government withdrew the petition.

The Supreme Court also dismissed another petition by the Kerala government which asked for a stay on the 3-member committee appointed by the Kerala High Court to oversee the situation in Sabarimala. It was in November 2018 that a division bench of the Kerala High Court ordered the constitution of the 3-member committee. The committee comprised two retired high court judges and a police officer of the rank of DGP.

Following this, the state government approached the Supreme Court asking for a stay on the committee. The government argued that the High Court decision was contrary to the spirit of the September 28 Supreme Court verdict which allowed women of all ages into Sabarimala. The government also claimed that the high court’s interference affected the measures taken to maintain law and order at the temple.

Apart from the two pleas by the Kerala government, the Supreme Court also dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by the Hindu Aikya Vedi requesting for access to be granted to private vehicles from Nilakkal to Pamba. Currently, only KSRTC buses are allowed to ply the Nilakkal - Pamba route. The PIL argued that the KSRTC buses were charging Rs 49 for the ride. Responding to this, the Chief Justice asked with sarcasm if the bench should also go into deciding how much the bus fare should be. 

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