Sabarimala temple case: SC to hear review petitions in open court on January 22; Kerala BJP, head priest call decision victory

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Published: November 13, 2018 8:14:08 PM

In a major consequential observation in Sabarimala case, the Supreme Court has said that it would hear a raft of review petitions in the matter in open court on January 22.

The review petitions against the September 28 verdict were taken up ‘in-chamber’ by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

Sabarimala temple case: In a major consequential observation in Sabarimala case, the Supreme Court has said that it would hear a raft of review petitions in the matter in open court on January 22. However, the top court has refused to stay its verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple.”All the review petitions along with all pending applications will be heard in Open Court on 22nd January, 2019 before the appropriate bench. We make it clear that there is no stay of the judgment and order of this court dated 28th September, 2018 passed in writ petition (civil) No.373 of 2006 (Indian Young Lawyers Association & Ors. vs. The State of Kerala & Ors),” the order said.

The review petitions against the September 28 verdict were taken up ‘in-chamber’ by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. Advocate Mathew Nedumpara said that Supreme Court has admitted the review petitions and said all the review petitions to be heard on January 22 in the open court.

The Sabarimala temple head priest today welcomed the Supreme court’s decision. “The blessings of Lord Ayyappa and prayers of lots of devotees are behind this decision to hear the matter in the open court. This is a big victory. We believe things will become normal. This is Ayyappa’s victory,” Tantri Kandararu Rajeevaru said. Kerala BJP has touted the apex court’s observation as “initial victory of Lord Ayyappa devotees”. “It’s an initial victory of Lord Ayyappa devotees. We are hopeful of overcoming the SC verdict when review petitions are heard. We will continue our fight till the end,” BJP Kerala General Secretary K. Surendran said.

Earlier in the day, the top court had made it clear that fresh pleas related to the Sabarimala Temple will be heard only after it decides the earlier petitions seeking review of the judgment allowing entry of women of all age groups into the shrine in Kerala. The bench stated this while hearing the three fresh petitions filed by G Vijaya Kumar, S Jaya Rajkumar and Shailaja Vijayan challenging its September 28 verdict. There are around 48 petitions seeking review of the judgement.

On September 28, a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its 4:1 verdict, had paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination. The top court had on October 9 declined an urgent hearing on the review plea filed by an association which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench’s verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.

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