SC to hear on November 13 pleas challenging its Sabarimala verdict

PTI

 

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court Tuesday said that it would hear on November 13 petitions challenging its Sabarimala verdict allowing women of all age groups entry into the temple.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul told lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara that it has already passed an order with regard to listing of petitions on November 13.

Nedumpara was mentioning the petition filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association.

Earlier the court had noted that there were 19 review petitions pending in the matter, filed by the Association and others seeking a review of its Sabarimala verdict.

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

The court had on October 9 declined an urgent hearing on Nedumpara’s plea which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was “absolutely untenable and irrational”.

The bench had said the review petitions could only be taken up after the Dussehra vacation, adding that in any case, it will be heard in 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”.

“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. It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse,” the petition had submitted.

“Review judgment and order…on the ground that it is unconstitutional and void inasmuch as it is vitiated by errors apparent on the face of the record; that it is without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, that it is in violation of principles of natural justice and that it is in violation of express constitutional provisions,” the plea had said.

Besides the Association, another petition seeking review of the September 28 verdict of the apex court had also been filed by the Nair Service Society (NSS), an organisation for the uplift and welfare of the Nair community.

It had said that as the deity is a ‘Naistika Brahmachari, females below the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.
“Hence, the delay or wait for 40 years to worship cannot be considered as exclusionary and it is an error of law on the face of the judgement,” the plea had said.

The NSS had said that many essential religious practices will be rendered void and religion itself may be rendered out of existence if the general ground of equality under Article 14 is resorted to and essential religious practices are tested on the principle of rationality.

(PTI)