SC to pronounce judgment in Sabarimala review petitions tomorrow

South India

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will pronounce its judgment in the review petitions challenging the Sabarimala judgment of September 28, 2018, on Thursday.

The pleas seek review of the top court's verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple in Kerala.
According to the report, the judgment will be pronounced by a Bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, at 10.30 am.
On September 28, the five-judge bench headed by former Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra lifted the entry ban on women in the temple, saying the centuries-old custom at the shrine was not an essential religious practice and “the attribute of devotion to divinity cannot be subjected to the rigidity and stereotypes of gender”.
Earlier, a Constitution Bench of then Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud, and Indu Malhotra,  in a 4:1 verdict,  had struck down Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 which was the basis for barring entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 years into the temple.
The Court had ruled that Rule 3(b) of 1965 Rules violated the right of Hindu women to practise religion under Article 25. Further, it was held that the bar on entry of women between the age of 10 and 50 years was not an essential part of the religion.
While four judges had struck down the Rule, Justice Indu Malhotra had penned a dissenting judgment holding that religious practices cannot be solely tested on the basis of Article 14 of the Constitution.
She had stated that notions of rationality cannot be brought into religion and that a balance needs to be struck between religious beliefs on one hand, and the cherished principles of non-discrimination and equality laid down by Constitution on the other.
Earlier, the state had witnessed huge protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the entry of girls and women in 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala temple when the state government decided to implement the September 28 Supreme Court order.
On January 2, Kanaka Durga (44) and Bindu Ammini (42) came to limelight and made history by becoming the first women below 50 in decades to enter the hilltop shrine after the epic verdict of the apex court. 
The duo had visited the temple under police protection. Subsequently, the CPM-led LDF government, led by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, had faced several criticisms. They had made an attempt on December 24, but it was failed due to protest by the devotees.
The chief priest Kandaru Rajeevaru had closed the sanctum sanctorum to perform the 'purification' ceremony after confirming the young women entry. Following threats by protesters, the two women had gone into hiding for almost two weeks after entering the hill shrine.
The apex court’s verdict had mixed responses among the devotees. Ever since the verdict was passed on September 28, thousands of devotees from various Hindu organisations had taken to the streets to mark their protest against the verdict.


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