The Travancore Devasom Board, which manages the Sabarimala temple, told the Supreme Court Wednesday that it has decided to “respect” the verdict lifting age restrictions on the entry of women to the hill shrine. A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi is hearing petitions seeking review of its September 28, 2018 judgment. The bench also comprises Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. The review petitions were originally scheduled to be heard on January 22, but could not be taken up as Justice Malhotra was on medical leave. Kerala has opposed the review of the verdict.
The top court’s landmark verdict on September 28 last year triggered a wave of protests across Kerala, and as many as four dozen review petitions were filed seeking review. Meanwhile, a plea seeking contempt action against the head priest of the Sabarimala temple has been filed, alleging that he had ordered cleaning of the premises after some women had visited the temple. On Monday, the Kerala government admitted that just two women, between the age of 10 and 50, have entered the shrine following the apex court’s judgment.