/ Sabarimala: Supreme Court to hear review petitions today, 4 women say make us intervenors

India Today : Feb 06, 2019, 10:37 AM

The Supreme Court will on Wednesday hear review petitions in the Sabarimala temple issue. In a landmark judgment, the apex court had lifted the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age in the Lord Ayappa temple in Kerala. There are around 48 pleas seeking review of the Supreme Court September 28 Sabarimala judgement.

The review petitions will be heard by a Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra.

On Monday, four women moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene as parties in support of its September judgment. Reshma CV, Shanila, Bindu A and Kanakadurga, hailing from Kerala, have filed applications seeking to be heard as intervenors. They are supporting the verdict.

Of the four, Bindu and Kanakadurga, aged 44 and 42 respectively, were the first to have stepped into the hallowed precincts after the top court's historic judgement lifted the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, its eternally celibate deity.

The other two applicants -- 33-year-old Reshma and 29-year-old Shanila, had twice attempted to enter the temple, first on January 15 and again on January 19. However, they were heckled and prevented by some self-proclaimed devotees after which they had to discontinue.

Bindu and Kanakadurga, in their application, said, "The judgment of this court on September 28, 2018, upheld the dignity, liberty and equality of women of all ages and sent a strong message to the society against menstrual taboo. Proposed intervenors pray that they may also be heard to oppose the review, in case this court is inclined to review the judgment. It is in the interest of justice that the Proposed Intervenors are heard".

On November 13 last year, the apex 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.

Meanwhile, a plea seeking contempt action against a tantri of the Sabarimala temple has been filed alleging that he had ordered cleaning of the premises after some women had visited there.