SC refuses to entertain PIL on `Makarajyoti` row

Last Updated: Friday, February 25, 2011 - 21:22

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday
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 SH
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 was "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
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.

PTI



First Published: Friday, February 25, 2011 - 21:22

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