SC declines urgent hearing of Sabarimala review plea

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S K Kaul and K M Joseph had considered the submission of Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through Mathews J Nedumpara, which contended that the five-judge Constitutio

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined to grant a plea for early listing of the petitions seeking review of the September 28 judgement that allowed entry of women of all age groups to Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph said the matter cannot be taken up before Dasara vacations.

The court's clarification came to advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, who mentioned the matter for early hearing as the temple would be opened from October 16 for the rituals and the matter must be considered before.

Appearing for Shylaja Vijayan, President of National Ayappa Devotees Association, the counsel contended that the judgement has sent shock waves among millions of believers and worshippers. He said 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.

A five-judge Constitution bench by a majority of 4:1 had set aside the age-old prohibition of women between 10 and 50 years from entering the temple.

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.

NGOs Nair Service Society and Chetana Conscience of Women have also filed separate petitions for reconsideration of the judgement, also citing among other reasons, the protest launched by an overwhelmingly large number of women. According to the Supreme Court Rules, review petitions are taken up by the judges in their chamber in absence of lawyers.

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SC declines urgent hearing of Sabarimala review plea


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