Supreme Court defers hearing of fresh Sabarimala Writ Petitions

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 13, 2018

Glued to their television sets the whole day, devotees of Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity in Sabarimala, celebrated the ruling by staging victory rallies and distributing candies.

A plea filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association (NADA), which has sought review of the verdict, had said that "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".

This order was issued after the petitions were circulated among the judges in their chambers at 3pm, in accordance with rules of the top court. No lawyers are present during these proceedings. "I think Kerala is united on this issue and therefore, I am happy that the Supreme Court has made a decision to review the entire issue", he said.

The five-judge Constitution Bench headed by then Chief Justice Misra had junked the age-old tradition of the Lord Ayyappa temple by a majority verdict of 4:1.

Livelaw says that the review petitions claim that the court erred in hearing the PIL as the petitioners did not have locus standi, or the right or the capacity to bring a case to the court. The review pleas would now be heard in open court on January 22 2019. "The State of Kerala & Ors", read the order. Women of reproductive age were restricted from entering the over 800-year-old shrine in south Kerala's Pathanamthitta district because its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered to be a celibate. So now, three fresh writ petitions will only be heard by a bench comprising CJI Gogoi and Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and K M Joseph after the review petitions are accounted for. This will be an in-chamber hearing, meaning that it will not be held in open court. The composition of the bench, which heard the review petitions today, therefore, did not cause any surprise. The Kerala government on the other hand which has vowed to implement the verdict said that it has not yet decided on what to do. "The government will evaluate the situation and take an appropriate decision", he said.

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