Sabarimala temple row: SC to hear all pleas 13 Nov

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will hear all 19 petitions seeking a review of Kerala’s Sabarimala temple verdict on 13 November.

Last month, the apex court upturned centuries-old rule, allowing women in the menstrual age group to enter the Lord Ayyaappa temple, sparking a widespread protest among the devotees.

The temple’s gates for visitors were closed on Monday evening after the monthly pooja. The Lord Ayappa shrine opens for five days in a month.

Kerala has been on the tenterhooks after the temple opened for the monthly pujas first time after the 28 September verdict by the top court which overturned a centuries-old practice that barred women of menstrual age from entering the hill temple.

Nearly 12 women were prevented from the entering the Sabarimala temple by the Ayyappan devotees. A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice SK Kaul considered the submissions of lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara on Monday that his petition seeking review of the constitutional bench judgement be listed for urgent hearing.

The bench had said that the review petitions could only be taken up after the Dussehra vacation, adding that in any case, it will be heard in the chamber and not in open court.

The petition filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through Nedumpara, had submitted that, “Faith cannot be judged by scientific or rationale reasons or logic.”

A five-judge constitution bench by a ratio of 4:1 had held that women of all age groups should be allowed entry inside Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan today pinned the blame on the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) for chaos and protests outside the Sabarimala Temple and held it responsible for preventing the women in the age group of 10-50 from entering the holy shrine.

Vijayan, while maintaining that the State government did its best to implement the Supreme Court order which allowed women of all ages to enter the holy shrine, said that the RSS turned the temple into a ‘war zone’ during the brief period the famed Lord Ayyappa temple was opened for the pilgrims.

“Kerala government made it clear in front of the Supreme Court that it will implement the verdict. The government arranged all facilities. Neither the government nor the police tried to block the devotees. The RSS tried to make Sabarimala Temple a war zone,” Pinarayi Vijayan told ‘ANI‘.

“Protesters tried to check vehicles, attacked women devotees and media persons. It was the first time in the history of Kerala that this type of attitude was shown towards the media,” the Chief Minister said.