Sabarimala visit: HC clears actress Jayamala

The Kerala high court on Friday let off Kannada actress Jayamala and astrologer Parappanangadi Unnikrishna Panicker, from the 2006 Sabarimala Devaprasnam case.

The court quashed the chargesheet, while Justice S.S. Satheesachandran held that the accused, Unnikrishna Panicker, his assistant A.N. Reghupathy and Jayamala were not liable to be prosecuted for the offence registered against them.

What was stated in the chargesheet was not sufficient to hold that he had made (certain) declarations with the deliberate and malicious intention of outraging the religious feelings of a class of persons, the court held.

In June, 2006, the astrologer conducted a four-day "devaprasnam" at the Sabarimala temple, and said “there were signs of a woman having entered” the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple.

Soon after this ‘revelation’, Kannada actress Jayamala claimed she had done so and touched the temple deity in 1986, defying a ban on 10-50 age group women entering the Sannidhanam and offering worship.

Pursuant to the revelations, a probe had been launched and it concluded that the entire episode was “staged” (by Panicker) with a view to earning name and fame for him.

The court held, "The declarations made in the devaprasnam by Unnikrishna Panicker could be taken exception to, and treated as false -- perhaps, he had done so with an intention to enhance his fame as an astrologer or even to injure or harm the tantris or the Devaswom or any other person associated with the temple."

"(To say that) the declarations by the accused have wounded the religious beliefs of a class of people is not sufficient; it must be shown that there was a deliberate and malicious intention of outraging
their religious feelings or attempting to insult their religion,” the
court said. The court also said the “police report is also vague.”

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