SC to hear protection plea of Sabarimala women

Senior advocate Indira Jaising mentioned the application before a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi seeking an urgent hearing.

Two women, who say they're facing death threats after having entered the Sabarimala temple, approached the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking 24x7 police protection.

The top court agreed to hear their plea on Friday.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising mentioned the application before a bench presided over by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi seeking an urgent hearing.

She said that one of the two women was already attacked by her own mother-in-law and is in a hospital. Both are now worried about threats to their lives, she said.

The bench, also comprising Justices L Nageswara Rao and Sanjay Kishan Kaul, agreed to list their application for hearing on Friday, Jan. 17.

Besides police protection, the women sought a direction to authorities that they should ensure hindrance-free entry to all females and ensure their security. They also sought a direction to the authorities that they should ensure that no rite of purification is performed and there's no temple closure after a woman between 10 and 50 years of age enters the shrine.

The top court is saddled with a batch of review petitions for reconsideration of the Sabarimala judgement by a Constitution bench.

More than 40 petitions have been filed seeking a re-look at the judgement of September 28, which by a majority view of 4:1 allowed entry of women of all ages into Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

The court had earlier held that the ban imposed on the basis of physiological condition of women amounted to gender discrimination.

The judgement, which saw huge protests in Kerala, was sought to be reviewed on grounds that it was untenable and irrational.

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

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