The popular Sabarimala temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, draws thousands of devotees every day.

Pilgrims can't enter Sabarimala with posters of film stars, politicians: Kerala HC

The Kerala High Court on Monday ruled that pilgrims entering the revered Sabarimala Sannidhanam (sanctum sanctorum) are to be denied entry if they carry posters and large photos of film stars, celebrities, or politicians.

While hearing a suo motu case based on a complaint lodged by a devotee that pilgrims bring large posters and photographs of politicians and celebrities, the court observed that “a worshipper” must dutifully exercise his right to worship in an accustomed manner that is in line with the customs and traditions of the temple. It referred to an earlier order in another case — Sajeev Sastharam v. State of Kerala and others — while delivering the verdict.

Also read: Mandala puja held at Sabarimala, hundreds of devotees offer prayers

According to Live Law, a division bench of Justices Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar ruled that “no pilgrim can be permitted entry to Sabarimala Sannidhanam, through Pathinettampadi or to have darshan in front of the Sopanam of Sabarimala Sannidhanam, carrying posters and huge photographs of celebrities, politicians, etc.”

“According to Oxford Dictionary a ‘worshipper’ is a person who shows reverence and adoration for a deity. Right to worship is a civil right, of course in an accustomed manner and subject to the practice and tradition in each temple,” the court noted, according to Live Law.

Also read: Sabarimala timings extended, number of pilgrims limited after huge rush

The court also took note of drummer Sivamani’s performance in front of the Sopanam of Sabarimala Sannidhanam and ruled that no pilgrim must play drums or similar musical instruments on the temple premises.

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