High Court Holds Special Sitting To Hear Pleas On Sabarimala Temple

The court also heard a plea related to the facilities provided to the pilgrims at Pamba and Sannidhanam and the transport facilities by the state-run KSRTC.

High Court Holds Special Sitting To Hear Pleas On Sabarimala Temple

The court also heard a plea related to the facilities provided to the pilgrims. (File)

Kochi, Kerala:

The Kerala High Court on Saturday held a special sitting to hear pleas on the appointment of the chief priests and transport facilities for pilgrims to the famous Sabarimala temple at Pathanamthitta district.

A Bench comprising Justices Anil K Narendran and P G Ajith Kumar held the special sitting to hear a petition challenging a Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) notification that 'melshanti' (chief priest) of Sabarimala and Malikappuram temples must be Kerala-born Brahmins.

The court also heard a plea related to the facilities provided to the pilgrims at Pamba and Sannidhanam and the transport facilities by the state-run KSRTC.

The petitioners contended that the notification seeking application from Malayali Brahmins for the particular posts were against the Right to Equality under the Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.

The counsel also argued that this discrimination amounts to untouchability.

Meanwhile TDB, which manages the hilltop shrine, told the court that the practice of Kerala-born Brahmins performing rituals has been there for a long time.

After a day-long proceeding, the court posted the matter for further hearing on December 17.

On the plea seeking improved facilities on behalf of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC), the court directed the government to ensure that there are enough buses for the pilgrims.

"The district Collector and the district police chief shall make proper arrangement for pilgrims at Pamba in consultation with the special commissioner for Sabarimala and the arrangement so made should be brought to the notice of this court by Monday," the court said.

The court noted the TDB's submission that nine temporary CCTV cameras were installed at Nilakkal and 12 at Pamba, which are being monitored at the respective police control rooms.

The HC bench asked the KSRTC to provide enough buses for the pilgrims and ensure that the aged and disabled people get priority in boarding the bus.

It also directed the KSRTC to make sure that the buses carry only permissible number of passengers.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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