Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan Monday said the state was bound to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict in the Sabarimala temple case and it was not possible to bring in any legislation to prevent the entry of women of menstrual age from visiting the shrine.
Vijayan’s statement comes days ahead of the Supreme Court verdict on review petitions filed against the September
28, 2018 decision of the apex court.
Responding to a question by the opposition UDF in the state assembly, Vijayan said, “The Supreme Court verdict regarding the Sabarimala women entry is the one related to that of the fundamental rights. The state government is bound to implement the apex court order.”
As per legal opinion received by the state government, it was not possible to bring in any legislation to circumvent the Sabarimala verdict, PTI quoted Vijayan as saying.
Vijayan told the Assembly that those who talk about bringing in legislation to go around the SC verdict were “cheating devotees”. The Kerala CM also reiterated that his government did not force any woman to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple and it was their individual choice to go or not.
Vijayan also said the apex court verdict of September 28 last year was not similar to that of the ruling related to Jallikattu or bullock cart race.
In a historic judgment, the Supreme Court had on September 28, last year paved the way for the entry of women of all ages into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, lifting the ban on women in the age group of 10 to 50, falling under the menstrual age, from worshipping at the shrine.
The verdict had evoked massive protests in the state, with the opposition BJP and Congress put their weight behind the protestors. The three-month-long annual pilgrimage will be open for devotees from November 16.