Supreme Court to revisit Sabarimala case order on 22 January

Clay Curtis
November 13, 2018

A five-judge Constitution Bench will on Tuesday review the Supreme Court's majority judgment of September 28 allowing women of all ages entry into the famed Sabarimala temple.

The Sabarimala temple will reopen for devotees from November 16.

Mehta decided that the statements issued by BJP's Kerala unit president P S Sreedharan Pillai, Sabarimala tantri (chief priest) Kandararu Rajeevaru and others opposing the apex court verdict only amounted to constructive criticism. This will be an in-chamber hearing, meaning that it will not be held in open court. In the case of laying down guidelines for government-funded advertisements in print and electronic media, limiting the use of photographs of politicians, he agreed to hear the Centre's review petition in the open court. Three fresh petitions also came up for hearing before a bench led by CJI Gogoi on Tuesday morning.

A batch of 48 petitions seeking review of the judgement will be heard in-chamber by a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

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Finally, the petitions also say that the SC erred in ruling that the ban on women entering the temple was based on the "physiological nature" of women. Those who support the ban argued that the temple board constituted a separate religious denomination and, hence, entitled to protection under the Constitution that allows citizens to practise one's religion and manage institutions under it, a contention rejected by the court. "We are really grateful to all devotees who stood to protect the temple customs".

"We have perused the review petitions and are convinced that the order of which review has been sought does not suffer from any error apparent warranting its reconsideration."
Both the Congress and the BJP have said they are against it, with both parties conducting spirited rallies and protests against the judgement and the government's attempts to implement it.

Activist Rahul Eshwar said peaceful protests would continue and the temple would be guarded.

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