A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Wednesday refused the plea of the Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) to operate its short-wheel bus services from the Fourth Mile to Pulmedu for meeting the needs of Sabarimala pilgrims.

The request was rejected by the Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice C.T. Ravikumar. The KSRTC made the application seeking to allow it to operate bus services along Vandiperiyar (Fourth Mile) to Pulmedu (Uppupara) forest route in view of the High Court order banning vehicle movement thorough the route. The ban was imposed in the wake of the Pulmedu tragedy. The KSRTC said that it had made ready as many as 50 short-wheel buses for operation through the route to meet the demand of the pilgrims.

The Ayyappa Seva Sanghom had also sought a directive to operate bus services through the route.

The Forest Department had opposed the proposal to run a bus service along the forest route on the grounds that it would endanger the fauna and flora of the area. Since the route passed through the Periyar Tiger Reserve, it would badly affect the animals in the forest. It would also create sound and air pollution.

Plea dismissed

.A Bench comprising Justice K.M.. Joseph and Justice A. .M. Shafique on Wednesday dismissed a writ petition challenging the order detaining Alex C. Joseph, an accused in cases relating to illegal import of luxury cars costing around Rs.500 crore via various ports in the country.

The detention order was passed in 2000 under the provisions of the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act, 1974 (COFEPOSA). Alex Joseph, a native of Thiruvalla in Pathanamthita district, was in hiding for the past 11 years. He was arrested recently.

The court said that it did not find any merit in the petition. The court said the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence had placed on record material that showed that the petitioner had been absconding after the order of detention was passed.

Producer's plea dismissed

A Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P.R .Ramachandra Menon dismissed an appeal filed against a single judge's verdict rejecting a writ against the decision to take the Malayalam film Adimadhyantham off the competition section of the 16th International Film Festival of Kerala.

The film had been chosen by the IFFK selection committee, but was rejected by Academy Chairman Priyadarshan on the grounds that it was submitted before the jury in an incomplete format before completion of the shoot. The petition was filed by P.A. Rasheed, the film's producer.

Petition admitted

A Bench on Wednesday admitted a habeas corpus petition seeking a directive to the police to produce spiritual writer Swami Gopalji based in Ezhimala who had been missing from November 2003.

The petition was filed by his friend Peter Ezhimala. According to him, he was under the illegal custody of somebody. He had faced threats from illicit liquor mafia and others. The police had not made any proper investigation, the petitioner said.

Keywords: KSRTCSabarimala

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