Court quashes case against starlet for touching Ayyappa

July 13, 2012 18:50
Court quashes case against starlet for touching Ayyappa

Kerala High Court on Friday quashed the case against the Kannada actor Jayamala. The court said that the alleged accusations against the actor of touching the deity of Sabarimala were invalid. The case pertains to 2006, when the star along with astrologer Unnikrishnan is alleged to have touched the deity. The court in its judgment said that the charges were legally invalid.

The case was registered earlier at the behest of the public, who expressed that the act was in in violation of temple traditions and offending religious sentiments.

Indian mythology has a great importance to Lord Ayyappa who is considered as a staunch bachelor as per one text. Hence, women between 12-50 years (mature cycle) of age are not allowed in the Sabarimala shrine, considered the abode of Lord Ayyappa.

Earlier  Kerala Police in 2010  chargesheeted  Jayamala and two others, alleging that she had made a fake claim that she was pushed into the sanctum sanctorum of the Sabarimala temple and accidentally touched the deity of Lord Ayyappa in 1987. A Crime Branch inquiry instituted by the Kerala government concluded that the claim was manufactured by her in collusion with a well-known astrologer to support his claims about the 'poor state of affairs' in the temple. The chargesheet alleges that the fake claim hurt the religious sentiments of devotees.

The other accused are P Unnikrishna Panikker, a popular astrologer and his helper Raghupati. The case has its origins in a 'deva prashnam', a periodical astrological inquiry prescribed in Tantric texts to know the mind of the deity. The ritual, it is believed, would bring forth shortcomings in the manner of worship and help make amends. In 2006, this ritual was conducted by Panikker and it lasted from June 16-19. Based on these findings, he concluded that there were shortcomings in the worship and indications of a woman having entered the sanctum sanctorum. A day later, the shrine's executive officer 'received' a fax message from Jayamala who 'admitted' that she had "accidentally" entered the sanctum sanctorum and touched the idol during a visit to the shrine at the age of 18 and wanted to do penance for that. This fax message was meant to be private but an official of the temple administration leaked it.

Jayamala had been a leading actor in the eighties and later turned producer making many award-winning artistic films.  She has acted in several movies in Kannada, Tulu, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. She has acted with several big Kannada stars like Vishnuvardhan, Ambareesh, Rajkumar, Shankar Nag and Prabhakar. (With inputs from internet- AW AarKay)

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