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SC to hear pleas against women's entry in Sabarimala temple from February 6

A bunch of pleas have been filed in the SC challenging women's entry in Sabarimala temple.

SC to hear pleas against women's entry in Sabarimala temple from February 6

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday said that it will hear all petitions filed against its recent verdict allowing the entry of women of all age groups into the famous Sabarimala Temple in Kerala from the next week.

According to news agency ANI, the top court has decided to hear all such petitions from February 6.

According to a notice uploaded on the apex court's website, the review petitions would be heard by a constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

On September 28 last year, a five-judge constitution bench, headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in a 4:1 verdict had paved the way for the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala temple, saying the ban amounted to gender discrimination.

On November 13 last year, the top court had agreed to hear in open court in January this year the pleas seeking review of its verdict but had refused to stay the judgement.

However, on January 22, the top court had said it may not start hearing the pleas, seeking review of Sabarimala verdict till January 30 as one of the judges of the bench, Justice Indu Malhotra, was on medical leave.

Justice Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the bench, had delivered the dissenting judgement in the case last year.

There are around 48 pleas seeking review of the judgement and they were filed following the violent protests in favour and against the September 28 verdict.

The top court had earlier made it clear that fresh pleas related to the matter would be heard only after it decides the pending pleas, seeking review of the judgement.

The bench had said this while hearing three fresh pleas filed by G Vijaya Kumar, S Jaya Rajkumar and Shailaja Vijayan challenging the verdict.

National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), which has filed one of the petitions seeking review of the verdict, has said that the five-judge constitution bench's verdict lifting the ban was "absolutely untenable and irrational".

"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," the association has said in its plea.

"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 said.

Besides NADA, several other petitions, including one by Sabarimala temple head priest Kandaru Rajeevaru and another by Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict.

The NSS had said in its plea that as the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari', females below the age of 10 and over the age of 50 are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.

One of the applicants has also sought live streaming of the proceedings in the Sabarimala case. 

(Updated with PTI inputs)