Women At Sabarimala: SC To Hear Review Petitions Today, Four Months Post-Verdict That Shocked Devotees

Sabarimala pilgrims and the Supreme Court of India.

The Supreme Court will, today (6 February) hear a batch of review petitions on its 28 September verdict that set aside the centuries-old Sabarimala tradition of restricting women aged between 10 and 50, reports News18.

Almost 65 petitions, excluding contempt of court, are reportedly pending before the apex court. A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi will hear petitions.

The verdict on 28 September had sparked a lot of protests in Kerala by Ayyappa devotees especially women. On 13 November, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a review petition in January, but, however, refused to stay the order.

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The court on 22 January said it wouldn’t hear the review petitions till 30 January as Justice Indu Malhotra was on medical leave. Justice Malhotra was the lone woman judge on the bench hearing the case, and she dissented, while the majority ruled in favour of women belonging to child-bearing age entering Sabarimala.

Meanwhile, two women, in their 40s recently entered the temple along with police protection. Bindu and Kanakadurga, who entered the temple on 2 January, had moved the Supreme Court seeking police protection and being a party to the review petitions. The court denied their request to be a party to the review petitions and dismissed all their petitions by asking the government to provide ample security to women.

The state government, however, submitted a list claiming that 51 women had entered Sabarimala. The government received flak from various corners including the Supreme Court for filing such a list in the apex court.

Interestingly, the Devaswom Minister, Kadakampally Surendran, said recently in the state Assembly that only two had women entered Sabarimala since the Supreme Court verdict, thus contradicting the list-of-51 earlier provided to the court.

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