The Kerala government has told the high court that the case against state BJP chief Sreedharan Pillai cannot be quashed as he tried to stop women in the age group of 10-50 years from entering the Sabarimala Temple, in contravention to the Supreme Court order.
The LDF government said Pillai persuaded the head priest of the Lord Ayyappa shrine to violate the order of the apex court and his speech also incited violence in Sannidhanam. It added that two cases were registered in Pamba related to attacks on women who wanted to visit the shrine.
Pillai was in the news for his purported speech wherein he claimed that the chief priest of the Sabarimala Temple had consulted him about closing the doors of the sanctum sanctorum if women reached the premises. He also reportedly said the issue was a “golden opportunity” for the party in Kerala.
Arguing in court, Pillai said the case was registered without listening to the entire speech. He added that the speech was in a private function and public was not present there.
The court, meanwhile, said the question was whether the case against Pillai would stand. The petition was then set aside for further hearing on Thursday.
Kerala has been on a boil after the September 28 Supreme Court verdict, permitting women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple, with right-wing and Hindu outfits on a warpath over the state government's decision to go ahead and implement the top court verdict.
The hill shrine had recently witnessed protests by devotees against the attempt by some young women, including journalists, to enter the temple. The Kerala High Court had recently come down heavily on the agitation at Sabarimala.