Sabarimala row: Advocate Nedumpara seeks rehearing of case, SC asks to file written submission

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NEW DELHI: Advocate Mathew Nedumpara, appearing for National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA) on Thursday sought rehearing in the Sabarimala case. 

 

The top court asked him to file written submission and added that the court could grant him an oral hearing in the Sabarimala case if required.

Advocate Mathew Nedumpara has filed the plea in the apex court and said devotees of Lord Ayyappa were not heard before.

On Wednesday, the bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra heard the review petitions seeking revisit of its September 28 order

After hearing, the top court reserved its judgement of review petitions over the entry of women into the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala.

While hearing the review petition, the Travancore Devaswam Board (TDB), which control the Sabarimala temple, changed it’s earlier stand and supported the entry of women of all ages into the temple.

In November last year, the TDB had moved to the court and urged the extension for implementation of the verdict which lifted the entry ban for the women under menstruating age inside the temple.

Meanwhile, TDB president A Padmakumar said that its previous decision is based on an affidavit that the board had filed before the verdict was announced. 

“The court asked the boards opinion. We have already accepted the September 28 verdict and decided not to file the review petition. The previous stand was based on the affidavit the board has filed before the verdict, then the verdict came and we accepted that. We have informed the matter in the court now”, he said.

He also rejected all the allegations of the board has influenced by the state government.

“The TDB doesn’t influence by the government. The court will take a decision after hearing the opinion of different parties. If there is any change in its order, the board will implement that also”, he added.

Opposition Congress-UDF leader in the assembly Ramesh Chennithala alleged that TDB's stand on the women's entry issue from the beginning was contrary to devotees' interests.

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 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”.

The temple opened for annual pilgrimage season on November 16, 2018, and closed on January 20.

 

 

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