Sabarimala: SC agrees to open hearing on Jan 22

Sabarimala temple. PTI file photo.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to give an open court hearing on review petitions filed against the September 28 judgement by a five-judge bench allowing entry of women to Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

“All the review petitions along with all pending applications will be heard in open court on January 22, 2019 before the appropriate bench,” a five-judge bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi said.

The bench, also comprising Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, however, clarified that there is no stay of the judgment and order of this court passed on September 28.

A five-judge Constitution bench had on September 28 by a majority of 4:1 had set aside the age-old prohibition of women between 10 and 50 years from entering the temple. It had passed the judgement on a petition filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association and others.

The top court had then said the right to practice one's religion guaranteed under the Constitution does not discriminate on the grounds of gender and physiological factors like menstruation.

A total of 49 review petitions against the September 28 judgement of the Constitution bench, allowing entry of women of all age groups to the temple, were taken up at 3 pm in judges chambers.


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According to the SC Rules, review petitions are taken up by the judges in their chamber in absence of lawyers. The review petitions are also put before the same combination of the bench which had passed its judgement.

But in the present case, since the then CJI Dipak Misra has retired, a fresh bench headed by CJI Gogoi was set up to consider the matter.

Earlier on the day, the top court said that writ petitions filed against the judgement to Sabarimala temple would be considered only after the review petitions were decided during the course of the day.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph said writ petitions would be taken up after order is passed on review petitions.

Advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, appearing for Shylaja Vijayan, contended in the writ petition that devotees were never heard before the Constitution bench.

Senior advocate Vijay Hansaria, representing the other side, contended that the writ petition can't be filed against a Constitution bench decision.

In a writ petition filed Shylaja Vijayan, President of National Ayappa Devotees Association, it was contended that the judgement has sent shock waves among millions of believers and worshippers. The petitioner claimed the judgement was void ab initio as it was violative of natural as well as fundamental rights of the devotees as they were not heard.

Among others, NGOs 'Nair Service Society', and 'Chetana Conscience of Women' have also filed separate petitions for reconsideration of the judgement, also citing reasons like the protest launched by an overwhelmingly large number of women to assail the judgement.


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Sabarimala: SC agrees to open hearing on Jan 22


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