Supreme Court order on Sabarimala review petitions shortly
The September 28 verdict by a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak had lifted the bar on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 into the temple. However, it had been opposed strongly in the state, with devotees claiming it flouted centuries-old traditions of the temple
The Supreme Court will to take up on Tuesday 51 pleas seeking review of its verdict allowing women of all ages into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.
The ruling on review petitions will come days before the hilltop shrine, which has seen large-scale protests and violence over the judgment, opens for its three-month pilgrimage season.
The top court, which would be handling 48 review petitions and 3 writ petitions, said on Tuesday that fresh pleas will be heard only after it decides the earlier petitions seeking review of the judgement .
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said a five-judge bench -- comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotrais -- is scheduled to hear in-chamber the review petitions at 3 pm.
The September 28 verdict by a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its 4:1 verdict, had lifted the bar on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 into the temple, saying that it amounted to gender discrimination. However, it had been opposed strongly in the state, with devotees claiming it flouted centuries-old traditions of the temple, whose presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered celibate.
Besides these, three separate petitions seeking review of the verdict are also slated to come up for hearing in the open court before a bench of CJI Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph.
The top court had on October 9 declined an urgent hearing on the review plea contending that the five-judge Constitution bench’s verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”. It later said that it would consider the review pleas on November 13.
In Kerala, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led Left Democratic Front government, which has reiterated that the administration is committed to implementing the court’s order but blamed the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party and Congress for politicising the issue, indicated it could hold discussions on the issue.
“The government has an open mind. We will call an all-party meet to discuss the Sabarimala issue. We will decide the date and other details after the Supreme Court decision on review pleas,” state temple affairs minister Kadakampally Surendran said on Monday.
Both the BJP and the Congress have criticised the government’s handling of the situation.
BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai, who is on a ‘rath yatra’ to protect temple customs, said, “We hope the highest court will take note of the mounting protest of devotees and take appropriate decision.”
First Published: Nov 13, 2018 07:46:48