The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined an urgent hearing of petitions seeking a review of the top court’s September 28 judgement allowing women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, ANI reported.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, who was part of the five-judge Constitution bench that delivered the judgement, said a date to hear the review petitions cannot be fixed now since Justice Indu Malhotra is on leave till January 30, reported Bar and Bench.
The petitions rely heavily on Malhotra’s contention in her judgement – the sole dissenting opinion – that “constitutional parameters of rationality cannot be blindly applied to matters of faith”.
Women of menstruating age have traditionally not been allowed into the temple, but the Supreme Court order on September 28 put an end to the restriction. The Kerala government, led by the Left Democratic Front, had vowed to implement the judgement, but the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress have strongly opposed it.
A batch of 49 review petitions have come up for hearing before the Supreme Court.
The temple closed on Sunday after a 67-day annual pilgrimage season during which massive protests had erupted in the state against the entry of women into the temple. Over two dozen women devotees unsuccessfully attempted to enter the shrine during the season. On January 2, civil servant Kanakadurga and law lecturer Bindu Ammini became the first women of menstruating age to enter Sabarimala and offer prayers. However, the temple was briefly closed for purification rituals after that.
The temple will reopen again on February 13 for the monthly pooja in the Malayalam month of Kumbham.