Kollam MP N K Premachandran, who was backed by the Congress-led UDF in the recent Lok Sabha elections, is set to move a Private Members’ Bill in the Lower House seeking a ban on entry of all women into Sabarimala. The bill is listed for business on June 21. Premachandran is a member of the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which is part of the Congress-led UDF alliance in Kerala.
Premachandran’s Sabarimala Sreedharma Sastha Temple (Special Provisions) Bill, 2019 seeks “status quo on religious practices of the Sabarimala Sreedharma Sastha Temple, as existed on the 1st day of September, 2018”.
The Bill effectively seeks to bypass the Supreme Court verdict in September last year which allowed the entry of all women into the hill shrine. A Constitution Bench, in a 4:1 verdict, ruled that not allowing women in their “menstruating years” into the Sabarimala is ultra vires the constitution. While then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R.F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar, D.Y. Chandrachud ruled in favour of lifting the ban, Justice Indu Malhotra opposed it.
The apex court verdict led to protests and as many as four dozen review petitions were filed in the apex court seeking review.