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Sabarimala row: Contempt petitions against head priest, others for blocking women entry to temple

Meanwhile, there are 19 petitions in the Supreme Court seeking a review of its September 28 order. The court has fixed the date of hearing on November 13. 

Sabarimala row: contempt petition filed against head priest for blocking women entry in temple Kerala witnessed massive protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees opposing the apex court’s verdict. (Express file photo)

Two petitions have been filed seeking permission from the Attorney General to initiate contempt proceedings against a few people for preventing the entry of women to the Sabarimala temple in the five days of its monthly rituals this month, the first time it opened after the landmark SC judgement that allowed women of erstwhile barred age (10-50) to enter the temple.

One of the petitions has been filed against the head priest of the temple Kantararu Rajeevaru, who threatened to shut the temple if women enter the shrine, and P. Ramavarma Raja-Chairman of Trust/Committee that manages the affairs of Pandalam Palace-who allegedly directed the priest and protested against the entry of all women in the shrine despite the SC ruling, reported Live Law.

Another petition, according to the Live Law report, has been filed against state BJP President PS Sreedharan Pillai, BJP leader Muraleedharan Unnithan K and actor Kollam Thulasi. In a controversial remark, Kollam, who is also a member of the BJP, had said that women who try to enter Sabarimala should be ripped apart. “One half should be sent to Delhi, the other half should be sent to Kerala Chief Minister,” he said. He later apologised for his remarks.

“There is clear case of scandalizing and lowering of authority of this Hon’ble Court by interfering and obstructing with the administration of justice by resisting the implementation of judgment of this Hon’ble Court,” the petition states.

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Read| The Sabarimala aftermath

Meanwhile, there are 19 petitions in the Supreme Court seeking a review of its September 28 order. The court has fixed the date of hearing on November 13.

While the ruling CPM has decided to follow the Supreme Court verdict and not appeal for a review, the opposition Congress and BJP in the state have sided with the protesters and are seeking a review. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan held his ground even as protests intensified and warned stern action against those who prevented women from entering the temple.

Explained | What is the Sabarimala pilgrimage, how did restriction on women come about?

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The Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the Lord Ayyappa temple, Wednesday decided against filing a report in the apex court on the situation prevailing in Sabarimala, days after it hinted at filing a review petition, following intensified protests against the verdict.

The Sabarimala temple opened for a 5-day monthly puja on October 17, first time after the SC order. On September 28, the Supreme Court struck down the provisions of The Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 that banned women between the age of 10 and 50 from the temple. The order could not be implemented as protesters managed to block entry to at least 12 women.

 

First published on: 24-10-2018 at 03:16:18 pm
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