The Supreme Court on Tuesday decided to go for open court hearings of the petitions seeking a recall of its order permitting women of all age groups to pray at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
Agreeing to reconsider its September 28 verdict on Sabarimala temple, the top court said a five-judge Constitution bench will hear all the 49 review petitions on January 22.
National Association of Aayappa Devotees, Nair Service Society, and 17 other organisation have moved the review petition seeking a recall of the verdict.
A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by the then Chief Justice Misra had junked the age-old tradition of the Lord Ayyappa temple by a majority verdict of 4:1.
“Right to worship is given to all devotees and there can be no discrimination on the basis of gender,” Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra had observed.
Justice Indu Malhotra who presented a dissenting opinion said, “the court should not interfere in matters of faith”.
The temple which opened its doors for a five-day monthly pooja on October 17 witnessed massive protests by various devotee groups and Hindu outfits against the Pinarayi Vijayan government’s decision to implement the apex court order without going for any review petition.
Though attempts had been made by some young women, including an activist, to enter the temple of the ‘Naishtik Brahmachari’, the eternally celibate deity, the devotees backed by priests stood their ground, saying they would not allow the tradition to be breached.
According to police sources, 12 women in the 10-50 age group were prevented from offering worship at the temple, since it opened for the monthly pooja.
The temple remains open only for 127 days in a year.