Kerala: SC dismisses plea seeking permission to donate food at Sabarimala
The Supreme Court rejected the plea filed by Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham seeking permission to donate food at Sabarimala.
Delhi: The Supreme Court rejected the plea filed by Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham seeking permission to donate food at Sabarimala. The Supreme Court has clarified that it will not interfere with the High Court's order denying permission for food donations at Sabarimala. A bench headed by Justice Aniruddha Bose rejected the petition. The court explained that the case should not be considered by the Supreme Court however should be decided by the High Court itself. The petition was filed by two factions of the Ayyappa Seva Sangh. Senior Advocate V. Chidambaresh and Advocate Annie Mathew appeared for Ayyappa Seva Sangh.
The appeal was filed in the Supreme Court against the cancellation of the High Court Division Bench's permission granted to Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham to donate food at Sabarimala. The High Court cancelled the permission given to conduct food donations in April. In 2017, the new order was issued by cancelling the permission given by the High Court itself. Meanwhile, the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham approached the Supreme Court against this.
An organisation called Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samaj had earlier approached the High Court seeking permission to donate food to Sabarimala and Pampa. However, the Travancore Devaswom Board opposed this petition and said that permission should not be given to the new organisation while the Annadanam run by the Devaswom Board remains. Moreover, the High Court informed the division bench that Sabarimala, where lakhs of pilgrims visit, will face challenges including food security, and therefore it is advisable to participate in the food distribution organised by the Devaswom Board. Taking this argument into account, the High Court dismissed the Sabarimala Ayyappa Seva Samaj's plea and revoked the earlier permission granted to the Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham.
But the petitioners argued that Akhila Bharatha Ayyappa Seva Sangham is an organisation that has been working for the welfare of devotees for years. The organisation stated in the petition that the organisation's aim is to give food as Mahadanam, and it has been conducting food donations in various states. It was pointed out in the petition that the work of Akhil Bharat Ayyappa Seva Sangh has been approved by Tiruvithamkur Devaswom Board itself on many occasions, and Ayyappa Seva Sangh has participated in many activities of the Devaswom Board at Sabarimala. In this case, the petition sought to return the permission. This petition has now been rejected by the Supreme Court.