SC refuses to entertain PIL on ''Makarajyoti'' row

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New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) The Supreme Court todayrefused to interfere with the ''Makarajyoti'' controversysurrounding the famed Sabarimala Temple in Kerala and askedthe petitioner to approach the state high court for remedy.

A three-judge bench headed by the Chief Justice S HKapadia asked the petitioner to go to the high court as it isalready dealing with similar petitions on the issue.

Makarajyoti is considered to be a "celestialphenomenon" by thousands of devotees who throng to witness apurported divine star spotted from Ponnambalamedu near theSabarimala shrine culminating in the annual festivities in thesecond week of January.

The PIL by Sanal Edamaruku of National ScienceCentre, a constituent unit of the National Council of ScienceMuseums, has alleged that Makarajyoti was "not a celestialevent, 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 restrainthe authorities from "defrauding the religious followers andbelievers by making them believe that the light that appearsat Ponnambalamedu was a miracle.""Makarajyoti is nothing but a fire artificiallycreated by employees of Kerala State Electricity Board andPolice in connivance with the Travancore Devaswom Board bylighting camphor in a huge vessel and then covering it byblankets to create a blinking effect," he said, while pleadingthat immediate steps should be taken to hold awarenessprogrammes to educate the people visiting Sabarimala that thelight appearing is not a miracle.

He claimed that according to the Travancore DevaswomBoard which manages the Sabarimala Temple, "a light appears onthe hill which is a miracle and the pilgrims turn up in massesto view this unnatural phenomenon."

In a horrific pilgrimage disaster, 102 devotees werekilled and 50 injured in a stampede on January 14 at a placeabout seven km from the famous hill shrine.

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