Sabarimala row: SC to take up review pleas on Wednesday

Sabarimala row: SC to take up review pleas on Wednesday

PTI file photo

The Supreme Court would on Wednesday take up a batch of 54 petitions seeking reconsideration of the Sabarimala judgement that allowed entry of women from all age groups to Kerala's Lord Ayappa temple.

A five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi would consider the petitions at 10.30 am on February 6.

The bench would comprise Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

Meanwhile, two women Bindu and Kanak Durga, who entered the temple on January 2, filed a contempt plea before the court against the temple priest for carrying out “purification”. On Tuesday, advocate P V Dinesh, representing the petitioners, sought listing of the plea which the court refused but allowed the counsel to remain present during the hearing.

The top court which had earlier fixed the matter for consideration on January 22 could not take up hearing due to unavailability of Justice Malhotra who was on medical leave.

The matter involved reconsideration of the September 28 judgement. According to the SC Rules, the review petitions are considered by the same combination of bench in judges chamber but in this case, it was decided to hear the matter in open court.

In the present case, since then CJI Dipak Misra who presided over the bench, had retired, present CJI Ranjan Gogoi was included to hear the matter.

The court had in its judgement held that the ban imposed on women over entry into temple of Lord Ayappa on the basis of physiological condition amounted to gender discrimination. Justice Malhotra, however, had dissented with the verdict passed by 4:1 on a writ petition filed by Indian Young Lawyers Association.

The judgement which saw a huge protest in Kerala was sought to be reviewed on the ground that it was absolutely untenable and irrational.

It was contended that the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari', females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.