The Supreme Court has agreed to hear all 49 review petitions against its September 28 verdict allowing the entry of all women into the Sabarimala Temple.
A 5 Judge SC Constitution Bench- CJI Ranjan Gogoi, justices- Rohington Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra agrees to hear all 49 review pleas in open court on January 22, 2019 @LiveLawIndia
— Prabhati N. Mishra (@Prabhati_Mishra) November 13, 2018
As per reports, the review petitions rely primarily on the dissenting judgment of Justice Indu Malhotra. The only women judge in the bench had said that constitutional parameters of rationalist cannot apply to matters of faith. The petitioners also argue that the Supreme Court entertained the PIL without considering the locus standi of the petitioner. The review petitions also assert that no women devotee of Lord Ayyappa would want to visit Sabarimala. They also said that the tradition is based on the “Naishtika Brahmachari” character of the deity.
However, the Supreme Court did not stay its previous judgment. In its order, the Bench said, “we make it clear that there is no stay of judgment dated September 28.”
The Supreme Court’s September 28 verdict had thrown the entire state into chaos. The Communist party has displayed remarkable zealotry in trying to implement the SC verdict while devotees, including hundreds and thousands of women, have come out in huge numbers to prevent the desecration of the Temple. BJP President Amit Shah had also come out in open support of the devotees.
The Temple reopens on the 17th of November for a 2-month long festival. It appears that Sabarimala will continue to be a battleground in the days to come.