An Ayyappa devotee from Bangalore, P.Ganesan has filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court of India, challenging the Kerala High Court order of September 5 shifting Mr S.H.Panchapakesan from the post of Sabarimala Special Commissioner with immediate effect.

In the SLP filed through the lawyer, Kamalendra Mishra, the petitioner has alleged that Mr Panchapakesan, Additional District Judge (Fast Tract Courts) in Pathanamthitta, who took charge as Special Commissioner at Sabarimala in April, 2011, has been shifted with out any valid reason.

Mr Panchapakesan had initiated stern steps to check corruption at various levels at Sabarimala, besides supporting a series of pilgrim-friendly schemes like free sanitation drive by certain devotees’ groups from outside Kerala, it said.

The petitioner says Mr Panchapakesan’s initiative to check fleecing of pilgrims at various hotels and other shops had invited wrath of the hotel lobby as well as other commercial interests at the pilgrim centre.

Moreover, his effective intervention had made the Travancore Devaswom Board to stall its decision to increase the vazhipadu rates manifold at the Ayyappa shrine, it said.

The Special Commissioner had taken a series of welfare measures for the Ayyappa devotees at Sabarimala. The Vrindavan-model flower garden scheme aimed at producing flowers for daily use at the Ayyappa Temple and other shrines at Sabarimala came into force under his initiative, the petitioner said.

The SLP has further urged the Apex Court to “pass an ad interim ex parte stay of all further action pursuant to the order dated 05/09/2011 passed by the High Court of Kerala.’’

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