Sabarimala verdict on entry of women not the last word, says Chief Justice Bobde
The court on Wednesday had agreed to list Fathima’s plea next week after it was mentioned by senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves. On September 28 last year, the Supreme Court had struck down a law barring entry of women in the age group of 10-50 years into the hill shrine in Kerala.
The September 2018 judgment of the Supreme Court permitting women to enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala is not the last word on the issue, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde remarked on Thursday when hearing a plea by a Kerala woman seeking protection to enter the temple.
Bindu Ammini had moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to be issued to Kerala government to ensure that the September 2018 judgment is implemented and women are ensured safe passage to the temple.
Senior Counsel Indira Jaising, appearing for Ammini, mentioned the matter today for early listing since the temple will soon be closed to pilgrims for this season. She said that Ammini was attacked using chemical substances when she was returning after visiting the Police Commissioner.
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Jaising also pointed out that the Supreme Court judgment of September 2018 had not been stayed.
Chief Justice Bobde then remarked that the judgment of 2018 is not the last word on the issue since a larger Bench will hear the review petitions against the 2018 judgment.
He, however, agreed to hear Ammini’s petition next week along with a similar petition filed by another woman from Kerala, Fathima AS.
The court on Wednesday had agreed to list Fathima’s plea next week after it was mentioned by senior lawyer Colin Gonsalves.
On September 28 last year, the Supreme Court had struck down a law barring entry of women in the age group of 10-50 years into the hill shrine in Kerala.
Subsequently, attempts by the Left government in Kerala to implement the judgment of the court led to widespread protests and violence in the state.
After the Supreme Court decided to place a review of the Sabarimala verdict before a larger bench, the Kerala government decided to wait for a clear-cut and final verdict before extending protection to women who wanted to exercise their right in the face of opposition from traditionalists and temple priests.
The review petitions against the 2018 judgment are pending before the Supreme Court and will be decided after the court answers similar issues in three other cases relating to Muslim and Parsi women.