Supreme Court to deliver its verdict on pleas seeking Sabarimala Judgement review tomorrow
Top court verdict tomorrow on Sabarimala
The Supreme Court is scheduled to pronounce on Thursday its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking re-examination of its decision to allow entry of women of all age group in Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple. The top court will deliver its judgement on as many as 65 petitions – including 56 review petitions and four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas – which were filed after its verdict sparked violent protests in Kerala.
In September 2018 the Supreme Court of India ruled that women of all age groups can enter Sabarimala temple. The verdict was passed with a 4-1 majority where Chief Justice Dipak Misra, and Justices A. M. Khanwilkar, R. F. Nariman and D. Y. Chandrachud favoured permitting women to enter the temple, while Justice Indu Malhotra dissented.
In October, when Sabarimala was opened for pilgrims for the first time since the Supreme Court verdict, protests were staged at the Nilakkal and Pamba base camps. Many women journalists were assaulted by the protesters and police had to resort to a lathi-charge to disperse them. The protesters forced a 40-year-old woman from Andhra Pradesh to stop her journey to Sabarimala at Pamba. Suhasini Raj, a journalist working for the New York Times was also forced to return after she was blocked by protesters near Marakkoottam.
Two women of menstruating age attempted to enter the temple on 19 October 2018 but were blocked by protesters about 100 metres away from the sanctum sanctorum.
Four transwomen who attempted to visit Sabarimala temple were sent back by Erumely police on 16 December 2018. They alleged that the police harassed them and asked them to dress up like men if they wanted to visit the shrine. Even though they agreed to the demands of the police, they were eventually sent back citing the law and order situation at Sabarimala. They prayed at the shrine 2 days later as the temple authorities didn’t object to allowing entry of transwomen at Sabarimala.
A group of 11 women belonging to the Chennai based women right’s outfit ‘Manithi’ were chased away by protesters after they covered a distance of 100 m uphill from the Pamba base camp, accompanied by Police on 23 December 2018. Even though the police claimed that the group later returned from Sabarimala on their own decision without visiting the shrine, the group alleged that they were forcefully made to return by Kerala Police.
On 2 January 2019, two women claimed that they have entered Sabarimala shrine which was later confirmed using CCTV visuals.
Supreme Court Verdict
What is the Sabarimala case?
Sabarimala in Kerala barred women aged between 10 and 50 from entering the temple. It is one of the largest Hindu pilgrimage centres visited by 50 million devotees every year. The rules which mandate the ban were listed in Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules of 1965.