Sabarimala Women entry: SC to hear review petitions today


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court is all set to hear the review petitions against its landmark verdict on September 28 last year, that allowed women of all age groups enter the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.

There are around 48 review plea and writ petitions were submitted in the Supreme Court on Sabarimala issue.

The top court had earlier made it clear that fresh pleas related to the matter would be heard only after it decides the pending pleas, seeking review of the judgment.

Earlier, the website of Supreme Court had given February 8 as a temporary date for considering the writ petitions.

The court had clarified that review pleas and writ petitions will be considered separately and writ petitions will be considered only after hearing the review plea.

On November 13, 2018, the Supreme Court had said, the writ and review petitions seeking review of the judgement, allowing entry of women of all age groups into the shrine in Kerala will be heard in an open court on January 22, 2019.

The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra had admitted hearing of all review petitions seeking revisit of its September 28 order.

"All the review petition along with all pending application will be heard in open court on 22nd January 2019 before the appropriate Bench. We make it clear that there is no stay of the judgement and order of this court dated 28th September 2018", the court had said in a statement.

Even though, On January 15, the Supreme Court had informed it may not hear the pleas seeking review of the Sabarimala verdict on January 22 as Justice Indu Malhotra is on medical leave.

“The only woman judge of the five-judge constitution bench which had delivered the verdict in the Sabarimala case is on leave due to some medical reasons”, the bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had said.

Meanwhile, on Monday, four women moved the top court seeking to intervene as parties in support of its last September's landmark verdict. Reshma C V, Shanila, Bindu A and Kanakadurga, hailing from Kerala, have filed applications seeking to be heard as intervenors. They are supporting the verdict.

On January 11, the National Ayyappa Devotees’ Association (NADA) had filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking video recording and live telecast of court proceedings in the Sabarimala Temple row hearings.

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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