New Delhi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL filed by BJP leader Sobha Surendran seeking a list of cases registered against Ayyappa devotees in various districts since September 29 this year when the Supreme Court allowed women of all ages entry into the Sabrimala shrine.
The court junked the PIL stating that it was for mere “cheap publicity and intention of the petitioner is mischievous.” The court has also asked the BJP leader to pay Rs 25,000 as cost for misusing the high court.
Surendran had approached the HC alleging that thousands of persons have been illegally arrested and detained by police in the state but no action has been taken against the erring officers as directed by the Supreme Court.
The public interest litigation filed by the 44-year-old was through advocate V Sethunath who sought a court order to furnish all cases of acquittal in criminal cases from January 2014 along with names and designations of investigating or charging officers.
As an interim relief, she sought a court directive to furnish list of cases registered against Ayyappa devotees in various districts since September 29 this year.
"Police atrocities in Kerala have reached an alarming state and thousands of people are arrested, harassed, tortured, and sent to judicial custody for no reason. Police knows that their highhandedness against poor innocent citizens will not be questioned and they are lodging false cases against the poor and downtrodden by thinking that even if they turn out to be innocent, no action would be taken against police,” the petitioner had alleged.
The petitioner also contended that the government did not have data on acquittals and departmental action had not been taken against even a single police officer for lapses in investigation that resulted in acquittal.