NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered open court hearing in all review petitions filed in connection with the row over the entry of women in Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The hearing will be held on January 22. However, the court made it clear that there will be no stay on its verdict which allowed entry of women of all age groups in the temple.
A batch of 48 petitions seeking review of the SC judgment were taken up for consideration by a bench of Chief Justice Gogoi and justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra on Monday.
The pleas were filed against the SC judgement on September 28 in which a five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra had paved the way for the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple. In a 4:1 verdict, the SC had said that the ban amounted to gender discrimination.
A plea filed by the National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), had sought review of the verdict saying: "The notion that the judgment under review is revolutionary, one which removes the stigma or the concept of dirt or pollution associated with menstruation, is unfounded."
"It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse," it had said.
Besides the association, several other petitions, including one by the Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict. The NSS had said in the plea that as the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari', females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.
"Hence, the delay or wait for 40 years to worship cannot be considered as exclusionary and it is an error of law on the face of the judgement," the plea had said.