Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi on Tuesday said that the Supreme Court may not hear the pleas seeking review of the Sabarimala verdict on January 22 as Justice Indu Malhotra is on medical leave, PTI reported.
On November 13, the court had agreed to hear in open court a batch of 49 review petitions asking to revisit the judgement allowing the entry of women of all ages into the Kerala temple. A five-judge Constitution bench comprising Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Malhotra had delivered the Sabarimala judgement in September. Prior to this, women between the ages of 10 and 50 were not permitted to enter the shrine.
The petitions rely heavily on Malhotra’s contention in her judgement – which was the sole dissenting opinion – that “constitutional parameters of rationality cannot be blindly applied to matters of faith”.
There have been massive protests in and around Sabarimala since October against the state government’s decision to implement the Supreme Court’s verdict. Two women below the age of 50 were the first to enter the temple, with police protection, on January 2. However, their visit had set off violent protests across the state, and on Tuesday, one of the women was violently attacked by her mother-in-law.