SC declines urgent hearing on plea seeking review of Sabarimala Temple verdict


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined urgent hearing on a plea seeking review of its verdict allowing women of all age groups entry into the Sabarimala Temple.


A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph had considered the submission of Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through Mathews J Nedumpara, which contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.

“It will be listed in due court,” the bench said, adding that in any case, the review petition will be heard in the chamber and not in open court.

The National Ayyappa Devotees Association and the Nair Service Society (NSS) on Monday filed a separate review petition in the Supreme Court seeking evaluation of the Constitution bench judgement, which lifted the ban on entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple.

The NSS, in its petition, said the judgment suffered from an error as it looked at the question of facts related to the temple and its customs when it should have restricted itself to questions of law.

Reacting to the petition, Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that it is the responsibility of the government to implement the verdict of the SC but they are ready for a discussion over the issue.

“It is not the policy of the government to fight with believers, their interest will be protected, Government is ready for a discussion,” said Kerala CM, Pinarayi Vijayan.

On Sunday, hundreds of Ayyappa devotees took part in chanting the hymns of Lord Ayyppa rallies conducted at Tripunithura in Ernakulam and Tirunakkara in Kottayam.

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”.

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