The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a batch of over 48 review petitions challenging the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, PTI reported. The petitions seek a review of a judgement given by a five-judge Constitution bench on September 28, which allowed women of all ages entry into the shrine.
On the two occasions the temple has opened to devotees since the order, massive protests have kept women of menstruating age out, as was the norm before the order. The shrine is set to open again for Mandala pooja Mahotsavam on Friday and close on December 27.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra will hear the batch of review petitions at 3 pm on Tuesday, reported Live Law. The bench had earlier turned down a lawyer’s request for an open hearing of the review petitions.
Hours before the court hears the pleas, another bench, comprising Gogoi and Justices SK Kaul and KM Joseph, adjourned the hearing on four fresh petitions against the Supreme Court verdict. The bench said the review petitions will be heard first. “If the review pleas are dismissed, we will take up the writ petitions. If they are allowed, we will tag the writ petitions with the review [petitions],” Live Law quoted Gogoi as saying.
On October 9, the Supreme Court turned down a request for an urgent hearing of a review petition filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association. The Nair Service Society has also filed a review petition.
The Left Democratic Front government in Kerala had decided to implement the Supreme Court judgement immediately. However, it has faced opposition from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has accused the two parties of playing divisive politics and trying to inflame communal passions.
Last week, the BJP launched a six-day “Save Sabarimala Rath Yatra” from Kasargod district to “protect the traditions and rituals” of the temple. The march will culminate at Erumeli near Sabarimala on Tuesday.
The Congress too was planning to launch yatras from Kasaragod, Alapuzha, Thiruvananthapuram, Thodupuzha and Palakkad to inform people about the “politicisation” of the Sabarimala issue by the ruling party and Hindutva groups.