Protesters oppose the entry of women to the Sabarimala Temple, Kerala. (Source: PTI)

Sabarimala Case: Supreme Court To Decide When It Will Hear Review Petitions

The Supreme Court said that it would decide on Oct. 23 when the petitions seeking review of its Sabarimala verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the temple will be listed for hearing.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul considered the submissions of lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara that his petition seeking review of the constitutional bench judgment be listed for urgent hearing.

“We know that there are 19 review petitions pending. By tomorrow we will decide,” the bench said.

Nedumpara was mentioning the petition filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association. A five-judge constitution bench by a ratio of 4:1 had held that women of all age groups should be allowed entry inside Kerala's Sabarimala Temple.

The court had on Oct. 9 declined an urgent hearing on Nedumpara’s plea that had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.

The bench said the review petitions could only be taken up after the Dussehra vacation, adding that in any case, it will be heard in chamber and not in open court.

The petition filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through Nedumpara, had submitted that, “Faith cannot be judged by scientific or rationale reasons or logic.”

“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’s 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,” the petition had submitted.

Another petition seeking review of the Sept. 28 verdict of the apex court had also been filed by the Nair Service Society, an organisation for the uplift and welfare of the Nair community.

It had said 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.

Also read: Sabarimala Row: Protesters Prevent Women From Entering The Temple