Astrological consultation

A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday expressed its unhappiness over an astrological consultation held in connection with the proposed construction of an ‘annadana mandapam' at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam in April without the permission of the Travancore Devaswom Board or the court.

The Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice K. Vinod Chandran directed the Travancore Devaswom Board to ensure that such things did not recur in future.

The court made the observation while considering the reports filed by the Sabarimala Special Commissioner. In his report, the Special Commissioner said the conduct of astrological consultations without the permission of the court or the board would set a bad precedent.

He also pointed out that Devaswom administrative officer K.Rajan, who organised the consultation, had been placed under suspension. The Special Commissioner opined that such incident could not be tolerated.

The court stressed the need for augmenting various facilities at Sabarimala in view of the increase in the number of pilgrims every year.

The court also directed the State government to file a detailed report regarding the maintenance of the flow of water from the Kunnar dam, water level and flow of the Pamba water, and the measures to abate pollution of the river.

The court also ordered verification of the ingredients of Appam and Aravana and also the dough and the inspection of the preparation of the Appam by officers of the Food Safety Department.

Court for equal pay

Justice S. Siri Jagan ordered that daily labourers employed at the Medical College Hospital, Kottayam, for cleaning purposes be paid Rs.300 a day.

The court issued the order on a petition filed by the casual labourers employed from the employment exchange against a move to remove them and, instead, engage Kudumbashree unit workers for the work.

The court was told that the Kudumbasree workers were paid Rs.180 a day while the workers employed from the exchange were paid Rs.300. The court said that different wages for the same work could not be allowed.

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