In a major setback to the ruling CPM, the Kerala High Court has ordered today that the state government has no power to interfere in day to day affairs of Sabarimala. While considering three petitions regarding the Sabarimala issue, including a bail plea in the arrest of a protester, the court also said that the government cannot give instructions to the Devaswom Board on every matter.
The priority of the government should be the maintenance of Law and Order. The court has already considered a petition against the Government’s interference in the day to day functioning of Devaswom Board on October 30 and asked the government to file an affidavit on whether it issued any directive regarding preparations in Sabarimala for the annual Mandalam-Makaravilakku pilgrim season starting November 17.
The court had earlier issued a directive on the petition by T R Ramesh of Thiruvananthapuram, who sought a directive to the Travancore Devaswom Board not to implement any oral or written orders by the Chief Minister or Devaswom Minister on religious matters in Sabarimala. The petitioner alleged that the Chief Minister and Devaswom Minister were interfering in matters of Sabarimala, which was illegal. “The TDB must be allowed to decide on such matters. Even in filing a review petition or submitting a report to the Supreme Court on the entry of women to the hill shrine, the TDB cannot be guided or dictated by the Chief Minister or any member of the Cabinet,” he said.