The Supreme Court will on Tuesday decide when it will hear the petitions seeking review of its landmark judgment last month allowing women of all ages inside Sabarimala shrine in Kerala.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul considered the submissions of lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara that his petition seeking review of the constitutional bench judgment be listed for urgent hearing. “We know there are 19 review petitions pending. By tomorrow we will decide,” the bench said. Nedumpara was mentioning the petition filed by the National Ayyappa Devotees Association.
Despite the Supreme Court’s verdict, no woman has been able to enter the shrine since it opened earlier last week. In the last five days, twelve women in the 10-50 age groups have been stopped by protesters from reaching the temple, reported PTI. The temple opened on October 17 – first time after the Supreme Court’s landmark verdict – and will close today at 10 pm after the evening prayers. Despite a huge security cover, journalists were heckled, prohibitory orders were issued and massive protests broke out whenever a woman made her way close to the shrine.
The temple administration has written to the government that it would lock the temple and stop rituals if any tradition is broken. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) said that it would file a detailed report on the ‘grave situation’ to the Supreme Court.
After the violent protests broke out in Pamba, Nilakkal – base camps of Sabarimala, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who has said he will follow the apex court’s order, blamed the RSS for trying to “erase the distinction of Sabarimala.”
The BJP and the Kerala Congress, which have vehemently opposed the apex court’s judgment, denied any role in fanning the protests.