News Nation Logo

BREAKING

Sabrimala Review Petition To Be Heard By 9-Judge Constitution Bench Of Supreme Court On January 13

The Council Is Hopeful That The Sanctity, Traditions, Rituals And Customs Of The Shrine, Where The Presiding Deity Is A Celibate Yogi, Will Be Protected At Any Cost, AISAC General Secretary S J R Kumar Said.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Victor Dasgupta | Updated on: 06 Jan 2020, 08:43:17 PM
Sabrimala Review Petition To Be Heard By 9-Judge Constitution Bench Of Supreme Court On Monday

Sabrimala Review Petition To Be Heard By 9-Judge Constitution Bench Of Supreme Court On Monday (Photo Credit: File Image)

New Delhi:

A nine-judge Constitution bench of Supreme Court will hear from January 13, the issue of allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple along with other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women.

The top court on Monday issued a notice informing listing of petition filed by Indian Young Lawyers Association seeking review of its historic 2018 judgement allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple “Take notice that the following matters will be listed for hearing before a Nine Judges Constitution Bench commencing from Monday the 13th January, 2020”, the notice said.

The names of the nine judges are yet to be announced. On November 14, last year, a five-judge constitution bench in a 3:2 majority verdict had referred to a larger 7-judge bench, the pleas seeking review of its historic 2018 judgement allowing women and girls of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple. It had however said that the debate about the constitutional validity of religious practices like bar on entry of women and girls into a place of worship was not limited to the Sabarimala case.

The top court said such restrictions are there with regard to entry of Muslim women into mosques and ‘dargah’ and Parsi women, married to non-Parsi men, being barred from the holy fire place of an Agyari. It said that it was time for the apex court to evolve a judicial policy to do “substantial and complete justice”.

Earlier, the doors of Sabarimala temple reopened and the outfit spearheading the stir against allowing women of all ages to enter the shrine said it will continue its vigil in and around the temple to ensure that religious sentiments are not hurt in any manner.

The All India Sabarimala Action Council (AISAC) said on Monday it was relieved that “no women of menstruating age (10-50 years) visited” the hill temple of Lord Ayyappa in the just concluded Mandalam season (December 27).

The Lord Ayyappa temple in the Pathinamthitta district of Kerala reopens on Tuesday for pilgrims for the ‘Makara vilakku’ season.

The Council is hopeful that the sanctity, traditions, rituals and customs of the shrine, where the presiding deity is a celibate yogi, will be protected at any cost, AISAC general secretary S J R Kumar said.

“We will continue our vigil in and around the temple premises to ensure that the pilgrims’ sentiments and religious beliefs are not hurt in any manner,” Kumar told PTI over phone from Cochin.

He also expressed happiness over the observation made by Chief Justice S A Bobde on December 5  that the Supreme Court verdict given in 2018 allowing women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple was not the “final word” and the matter had been referred to a larger Bench.

“For protecting the temple’s sanctity, so many ardent devotees had protested last year and this year against entry of all women. As many as 65,000 such Ayyappa bhakts have been facing criminal cases in various courts of Kerala,” Kumar claimed.

“Legally we will continue our fight in the Supreme Court to ensure that the meditation of God Ayyappa was not disturbed,” he said.

Kumar, who is a former president of VHP’s Kerala unit, said “it is not a small issue (entry of all women). It involves the sentiments of crores of Ayyappa devotees world over. We can’t take any chances”.

Though there were 3,000 Ayyappa temples in the country “there is only one Sabarimala for Ayyappa”, he said referring to the uniqueness of traditions practised there.

A five-judge Constitution bench, by a majority of 4:1, in its verdict delivered on September 28, 2018, had allowed women of all age groups to visit the temple, saying that discrimination on physiological grounds was violative of fundamental rights like the Right to Equality.

However, AISAC and others opposed any change in temple traditions and started an agitation after the Left Front Government decided to implement the apex court decision.

On November 14 this year, the apex court said a larger seven-judge bench will re-examine various religious issues, including the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple. 

For all the Latest India News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.

First Published : 06 Jan 2020, 06:24:48 PM

Videos