SC declines early hearing of Sabarimala review plea
New Delhi, Oct 9 : The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined an early hearing of petitions seeking recall of a constitution bench judgment allowing entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.
The Nair Service Society (NSS) and others had moved the top court on Monday (October 8) seeking the recall.
The Kerala government has, however, said that it would take steps for implementing the judgment.
Contending that religious practices cannot be "tested on the basis of rationality", multiple petitions were filed on October 8 seeking review of its September 28 verdict lifting ban on the entry of women in the 10-50 age group into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
Besides NSS, the petitions for recall of the constitution bench verdict were moved by National Ayyappa Devotees Association and Chetana Conscience of Women, raising points of procedural error in the judgment.
The five-judge constitution bench headedv by then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra (since retired) by 4:1 verdict had said that the ban on women in menstruating age group, whose presence at the Lord Ayyappa temple was considered to be "impure", violated their fundamental rights and constitutional guarantee of equality.
The review plea by the NSS contended that "without holding that the questions raised related to matters of religion which are not within judicially manageable standards, the majority decision in substance effectively has the effect of holding that the character of the deity can be altered based on individual faith and belief, in violation of the tenets of a particular religion and or religious sect".
The petitioners have also argued that besides "patent legal errors" in the verdict, the assumption that the temple practice is based on notions of menstrual impurity is "factually erroneous".
Pointing to massive protests against the verdict by women worshippers, the petitioners have said: "The subsequent events that transpired after the judgment clearly demonstrate that overwhelmingly large section of women worshippers are supporting the custom of prohibiting entry of women in the menstruating age group to the temple."