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Rediff.com  » News » SC rejects PIL on Sabarimala 'Makarajyoti' row

SC rejects PIL on Sabarimala 'Makarajyoti' row

February 25, 2011 21:16 IST

The Supreme Court on  refused to interfere with the 'Makarajyoti' controversy surrounding the famed Sabarimala Temple in Kerala and asked the petitioner to approach the state high court for remedy.

A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice S H Kapadia asked the petitioner to go to the high court as it is already dealing with similar petitions on the issue. Makarajyoti is considered to be a 'celestial phenomenon' by thousands of devotees who throng to witness a purported divine star spotted from Ponnambalamedu near the Sabarimala shrine, culminating in the annual festivities in the second week of January.

The PIL by Sanal Edamaruku of National Science Centre, a constituent unit of the National Council of Science Museums, has alleged that Makarajyoti is "not a celestial event, but a man-made fire to hoodwink the devotees."

Advocate Deepak Prakash, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that the court should pass a direction to restrain the authorities from "defrauding the religious followers and believers by making them believe that the light that appears at Ponnambalamedu was a miracle."

"Makarajyoti is nothing but a fire artificially created by employees of Kerala State Electricity Board and the police in connivance with the Travancore Devaswom Board by lighting camphor in a huge vessel and then covering it by blankets to create a blinking effect," he said, while pleading that immediate steps should be taken to hold awareness programmes to educate the people visiting Sabarimala that the light appearing is not a miracle.

He claimed that according to the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the Sabarimala Temple, "a light appears on the hill which is a miracle and the pilgrims turn up in masses to view this unnatural phenomenon."

 In a horrific pilgrimage disaster, 102 devotees were killed and 50 injured in a stampede on January 14 at a place about seven km from the famous hill shrine.

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