The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to hear in open court a batch of 49 review petitions asking it to revisit its September 28 judgment permitting the entry of women of all ages into Kerala's Sabarimala temple, ANI reported.
Besides the association, several other petitions, including one by the Nair Service Society (NSS), have been filed against the apex court verdict.
Last month, when Sabarimala opened for the first time after the landmark ruling, more than a dozen women tried to access the shrine but failed, even with heavy police escort, to come anywhere near it. The court made it clear that the new cases would be heard once a decision is given during the day on the review petitions.
As reported by Bar and Bench recently, a bench of justices U.U. Lalit and Ashok Bhushan chose to hear a review petition in open court, after the review petitioner, Avinash Kumar, made a convincing plea in his petition to reopen the case, decided by the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Lalit on August 25 previous year.
Responding to a question about the political and social impact of the violent protests led by Hindu organisations against the verdict and the state's attempts to implement it, Vijayan said: "A section of the faithful may have been alienated".
If a judge, who decided the main matter, retired during the interregnum between the pronouncement of the judgment in the main matter, and the hearing of the review petition, the vacancy is filled by the Chief Justice of India. "I think Kerala is united on this issue and therefore, I am happy that the Supreme Court has chose to review the entire issue", he said. The practise is therefore not derogatory to the dignity of women, it is argued. The petitions claim that no women devotees of Ayyappa would want to enter the temple, and hence the Court should not have heard the case petitioned by a party that is alien to the temple's customs. In the affidavit, the state government admitted that it had no rights in Sabarimala affairs and it has no intentions to interfere in religion, reports said. There are around 50 petitions seeking review of the judgement.