Case against actor Jayamala quashed

The Kerala High Court on Friday quashed a charge sheet filed against Kannada actor Jayamala and two others in connection with a case registered against them in the wake of the actor’s controversial claim in 2006 that she had entered the sanctum sanctorum of Sabarimala Ayyappa temple and touched the idol.

Justice S.S. Satheesachandran passed the verdict while allowing petitions filed by the actor and other accused in the case, Parappanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker, astrologer, and his aide, A.N. Reghupathi of Bangalore, challenging the charge sheet filed in a magistrate court in Pathanamthitta.

The police had charged the accused with Sections 295(A) (deliberate and malicious act, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs) and 120(B) (conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code.

The police had alleged that in order to boost his credibility and reputation, Mr. Panicker revealed during the conduct of Devaprasnam, an astrological consultation, held between June 16 and 19, 2006, at Sabarimala that a woman had entered the sanctum sanctorum of the temple and touched the idol of Lord Ayyappa.

The charge sheet alleged that Mr. Panicker knew that Jayamala had visited Sabarimala during April 1987 and touched the idol.

He had kept the information very secret. He revealed the information during Devaprasnam in connivance with the other accused in order to secure personal gains.

He had also made the actor sent a fax message to him in her letterhead “confessing her sin” (of entering the shrine and touching the idol). The women in the age group of 10 to 50 are prohibited from entering the Sannidhanam.

The whole issue was a result of a conspiracy hatched by the three accused aimed at attaining fame and popularity. The charge sheet alleged that the actor had made deliberate and malicious attempt to outrage religious sentiments.

The court found that there was no malicious intention on the part of the accused in outraging the religious feeling of any class of persons. The declarations made by the actor and others in relation to the revelations of the astrologer could not be the basis of prosecution.

That a declaration or an act of a person had wounded or insulted the religion or religious belief of a class of people was not sufficient. It must be shown that there was deliberate and malicious intention of insulting religious feeling or attempting to insult their religion or the religious beliefs.

Therefore, the offence charged against the accused could not be sustained, the court held.

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Printable version | Sep 27, 2021 6:15:26 PM |

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