Urgent hearing on Sabarimala Temple plea rejected

NC Network

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected an urgent hearing on the plea which seeks review on its verdict which allowed women of all age groups to enter the Sabarimala Temple.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi along with Justices S.K. Kaul and K.M. Joseph had accepted the submission of Shylaja Vijayan, President of National Ayyapa Devotees Association and her lawyer is Mathews J Nedumpara. The submission contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was "absolutely untenable and irrational."

The bench said that, "It will be listed in due court." It also added that in any case the review petition will be heard in chamber and not in open court. 

The lawyer who appealed for the Devotees Association has also sought a stay on the verdict and said that the temple would be opening on 16 October for pilgrimage. However, the bench said the review petition can only be taken up after the Dusshehra Vacation. 

The Nair Service Society (NSS) has filed another petition which seeks  the review of the 28 September verdict of the Supreme Court. 

A bench of five judges headed by the then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had in its 4:1 verdict said that the banning the entry of women into the shrine is gender discrimination and that the practice violates rights of Hindu women. 

Review petition filled by Vijayan said that, "Faith cannot be judged by scientific or rationale reasons or logic. 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."

The second petition filed by NSS, an organisation which works for the uplift and welfare of the Nair community said that the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari, females before 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. 

The plea said, "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."

NSS said that many major religious practices will be declared void and the religion itself may be  rendered out of existence if the general ground of equality under Article 14 is resorted to and the essential religious practices are tested on the principle of rationality.

The Devotees Association said, "Review judgment and order...on the ground that it is unconstitutional and void inasmuch as it is vitiated by errors apparent on the face of the record; that it is without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, that it is in violation of principles of natural justice and that it is in violation of express constitutional provisions."

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