The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 13 November, agreed to hear review petitions against its verdict, which lifted the ban on entry of women of all ages into the temple at Sabarimala, on 22 January 2019. The order also states that there is no stay on the court’s previous verdict.
A five-judge bench comprising CJI Ranjan Gogoi, and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra decided the date for the hearing of the petitions.
On 28 September, a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its 4:1 verdict, had paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple saying that the ban amounted to gender discrimination.
- Besides these pleas, four separate writ petitions seeking review of the verdict are also slated to come up for hearing in the open court
- In a 4:1 verdict, the Supreme Court had granted women of all age groups entry into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple in September
- The apex court’s judgement has led to protests and counter-protests at the hill-top shrine in Kerala
No Stay on Court’s Previous Order
The order stated that there is no stay of the judgment and order of this Court dated 28th September, 2018.
Thanthri Family Head Welcomes SC’s Decision
Sabarimala thanthri family head Kandararu Rajeevaru has told reports that he welcomes the SC’s decision to hear arguments in open court, The News Minute reported.
Basis of Prohibition Was Physiological Nature of Women
The petitioners pointed out that Court wrongly concluded that the basis of prohibition was physiological nature of women, Live Law reported.
According to the review petitioners,the practise was rooted in the “naishtika brahmachari” character of deity, as per which the deity cannot be in the presence of women. The practise is therefore not derogatory to the dignity of women.
SC to Hear Review Petitions on 22 January
The Supreme Court on Tuesday, 13 November, agreed to hear review petitions against its verdict, which lifted the ban on entry of women of all ages, on 22 January 2019.
SC Begins Hearing Review Petitions
The Supreme Court has begun hearing a batch of petitions on Tuesday, 13 November, seeking recall of the verdict delivered by the top court on 28 September allowing women of all ages to enter Lord Ayyappa’s temple at Sabarimala.
SC to Hear Writ Petitions After Review Petitions
Supreme Court says, “We will consider the writ petitions after the disposal of review petitions at 3 PM today.”
Kerala Govt Files Preliminary Objection Plea
Kerala government has opposed a plea seeking ban on entry of non-Hindus in Sabarimala Temple and stated before the Kerala High Court that temple is “secular” and said that entry of devotees based on their religion cannot be prohibited.
According to LiveLaw, State Attorney KV Sohan filed the preliminary objection on Monday, 12 November, which stated, “It is a historically accepted fact that Sabarimala is a secular temple where entry of devotees is not restricted on the ground of any caste or religion.”
What Does the Petition Say?
A plea filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), which has sought review of the verdict, had said:
“The notion that the judgment under review is revolutionary, one which removes the stigma or the concept of dirt or pollution associated with menstruation, is unfounded. It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse.”
Besides the Association, several other petitions including one by Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict.
The NSS had said in the plea that as the deity is a ‘Naistika Brahmachari’, females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.
“Hence, the delay or wait for 40 years to worship cannot be considered as exclusionary and it is an error of law on the face of the judgement,” the plea had said.
SC to Hear Review Petitions on Tuesday
A batch of 48 petitions seeking review of the judgment would be taken up for consideration in-chamber by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.
Besides these pleas, four separate petitions seeking review of the verdict are also slated to come up for hearing in the open court before a bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and KM Joseph.
The apex court’s judgement has led to protests and counter-protests at the hill-top shrine in Kerala.
The top court had on 9 October declined an urgent hearing on the review plea filed by an association which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench’s verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.
Later, the court had said that it would consider the review pleas on 13 November.