#Sabarimala: TDB not to file review plea against SC’s verdict

The Travancore Devaswom Board which administers the Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, decided against filing a review petition against the Supreme Court order lifting the ban on women of menstruating age from entering the shrine, saying it has “no relevance now”.

The Travancore Devaswom Board also resolved not to file a report in the Supreme Court on the situation that prevailed at the shrine and the surrounding areas in the aftermath of its order. The Special Commissioner for Sabarimala M Manoj had yesterday filed a report in the Kerala High Court voicing apprehension that there could be “frenzied protests and turbulence” during the three-month-long annual pilgrim season beginning November 17 over the Supreme Court’s order allowing girls and women of all age groups to enter the temple.
“During the festival season there will be large crowds in places connected with Sabarimala pilgrimage and these type of protests by frenzied devotees and protestors may lead to crowd turbulence and stampede which may lead to injuries to pilgrims, police and others and loss of life,” Manoj said.

TDB member K P Sankara Das said the board would file a report only if the apex court asked for it. Das told journalists the board would submit its response if the Supreme Court sought its views while considering the review petitions filed already. “There is no relevance of a review petition by the TDB now,” he said.
The TDB had last week decided to approach the Supreme Court with a report on the situation following large-scale protests by Ayyappa devotees over the LDF government’s decision to implement the apex court order. The board’s decision came a day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government disfavoured filing a review plea and wanted the Supreme Court verdict enforced.

The TDB had last week decided to approach the Supreme Court with a report on the situation following large-scale protests by Ayyappa devotees over the LDF government’s decision to implement the apex court order. The board’s decision came a day after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said his government disfavoured filing a review plea and wanted the Supreme Court verdict enforced.

Vijayan had also criticised the temple head priest and the Pandalam royal family, associated with the Sabarimala temple for ages, on Tuesday. He slammed head priest Kandararu Rajeevaru over his reported remark that he would lock the temple doors and go away if women of “barred” age group entered the premises, and asserted the TDB and not the erstwhile Pandalam royalty was the custodian of the shrine.