Kerala High Court on Friday observed that if the revenue and police officers having charge of the Puttingal temple area were stern in the enforcement of law, the tragedy would not have occurred. Justice P. Ubaid rejected the bail applications of 40-odd accused in the case and observed that it was high time the government banned fireworks displays and parading of elephants as part of festivals and ceremonies.
The politicians should make earnest efforts to refine our bureaucracy and the civil service and free them from disturbing influences and pressures. “Kerala has developed a very ‘unhealthy’ culture and practice that every religious festival or ceremony must be glamorised by fireworks. No religion will promote or sponsor such explosive ceremonies. We have sufficient laws to ban or control the use of explosives and other substances in connection with festivals and ceremonies.
We also have a definite machinery under the law to regulate and control the use of explosives. But the machinery or the officers functioning under the laws do not have the guts, urge and commitment to enforce the laws. That is why this sort of calamities happen,” the court said.
“The persons who used that much quantity of explosive substances will definitely have the full knowledge of the inevitable consequences that it will definitely make dangerous explosion causing death of human beings. If a massacre occurred due to the use of such quantity of explosives, that cannot be called a sheer accident,” the court said.
Meanwhile, the court granted bail to two accused-Jinju and Salim– who had allegedly sold some explosive substances to the contractors. Mr P Vijayabhanu, counsel for the petitioner, submitted that they were not the persons who caused the explosion and that they had no active or indirect role in causing the explosion. There was nothing to show that potassium chlorate was in fact sold by the two accused. The court observed that continued detention of the duo was not necessary.