The government of Kerala has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the direction of the High Court of Kerala to raise the numbers of daily permissible pilgrims as 5000 visiting the Sabrimala Lord Ayyappa shrine during the festival season.The Kerala Government has submitted that the High Court failed to notice the fact that the Government order dated 29/09/2020 constituted a High Level Committee to decide the permissible number of pilgrims who can be allowed per day to the Sabrimala Shrine. As per the decision of the Committee, it increased the number of pilgrims on week days and on weekends as to 2000 and 3000 respectively to attend Sannithanam of Sabrimala taking into account the prevailing Covid-19 situation.
Several devotees had filed writ petitions in the High Court, challenging these restrictions. On December 18, a division bench of Justices C.T. Ravikumar and K. Haripal disposed of the petition raising the permissible number as 5000 per day.
It has further been stated that as per reports in England and other places, a new strain of Covid-19 has been detected after which Government of India and the State Government are taking precautions to control Covid-19. Thus increasing number of pilgrims at this stage will definitely affect the various measures taken by the government for controlling the Covid-19 spread in the state.