Kerala High Court intervenes in Sabarimala virtual queue booking under-utilisation

Sabarimala Special Commissioner noted in report that actual turnout of devotees remained far below permitted 5,000 virtual queue slots

Taking note of a report filed by the Sabarimala Special Commissioner (SPC) on the issues concerning under-utilisation of the virtual queue system, the Kerala High Court has directed the State Police Chief to file an affidavit in this connection.

In a recent order, judge C.T. Ravikumar and Murali Purushothaman directed the SPC to submit whether the issues pointed out by the commissioner occurred due to any deceitful action by anyone and whether it was possible for any agency to make an en masse registration to have wrongful gain. The matter is now posted for further hearing on Friday.

In his report to the High Court, the special commissioner has pointed out that though 5,000 virtual queue slots were booked within hours of the site being opened, the actual turnout of devotees remained far below. Pointing to the daily turn-out of devotees when the temple opened for the five-day monthly pujas in February, the report stated that some who had booked virtual queue slots were deliberately not turning up at the temple.

“This kind of blocking of the virtual queue slots by people who do not come to Sabarimala usurps the opportunity of genuine devotees who intend to go for the pilgrimage,” it said.

In view of the COVID-19 situation, the High Court has limited the daily number of pilgrims to Sabarimala at 5,000 with mandatory COVID-19 certificates. The booking of virtual queue slots for Sabarimala darshan is done through the website www.sabarimala.org, an initiative of the Kerala Police.

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