Sabarimala case: Supreme Court refuses to pass orders on women’s ‘safe’ entry, refers matter to larger bench

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Updated: December 13, 2019 1:45:26 PM

The top court granted police protection to Indu Ammini and Rehana Fathima.

Supreme Court, scSupreme Court

The Supreme Court today decided to constitute a larger bench to hear the review petitions, allowing safe entry for women in the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala. It also granted police protection to Indu Ammini and Rehana Fathima, who had earlier claimed to be attacked, in a previous hearing.

CJI Sharad Arvind Bobde had recently remarked that the 2018 verdict of the top court, allowing entry to women of all age groups in the temple was not final. “There is a judgment (allowing women entry) in the Sabarimala temple, but it is equally true that the issue has been referred to a larger Bench. We do not want any violence,” CJI Bobde observed during the hearing as per PTI.

During the hearing today, CJI Bobde observed that “balance of convenience” means that no order is passed in the matter today as the case has been referred to a seven-judge bench. The court added it will try to former a larger bench at the earliest.

The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant, felt that even as there was no stay on the September 28, 2018 order that allowed entry of women of all age groups in the temple, “but it is equally true that it is not final”.

Last year, after the Supreme Court delivered the verdict allowing women of all age groups into the shrine, protests were seen in large parts of Kerala. At the time, the state government had also maintained that going by the apex court order, it would provide security to all women who wished to visit the temple. However, a number of women could not enter the temple as protests grew.

Earlier on February 6, the bench headed by the then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had reserved its verdict after hearing from various parties that included those urging reconsideration of the 2018 judgement.

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