A five-judge Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi has today (14 November) referred review petitions challenging its September 2018 Sabarimala judgment to a larger bench of seven judges, reports The Times of India.
The decision to refer the matter to a larger bench was taken by a 3-2 majority; the two dissenting judges in the case were of the opinion that the review petitions ought to be dismissed.
The judgment of the court gives a glimmer of hope to Lord Ayyappa devotees who wish for the court’s previous order allowing the entry of women between 10 and 50 into the temple to be reversed.
The temple at Sabarimala has an age-old custom of not allowing females in the said age group as Lord Ayyappa is considered to be a celibate deity. However, women and girls not in the menstruating age group have always been allowed to participate in the pilgrimage to the temple.