A 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Friday referred the case pertaining to women’s entry into the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala to a constitution bench.
The apex court has also framed several questions to be dealt with by constitution bench.
As per reports, the matter will be listed before the 5-judge constitution bench soon and the final verdict on whether women aged between 10 and 50 years can enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple will be delivered within three to four weeks.
Hearing a Public Interest Litigation challenging the ban on women aged between 10 and 50 years into the sanctum sanctorum of the temple, the apex court had in February reserved an order on referring the case to a constitution bench.
The court asked all parties to submit legal questions, which a three-judge bench would refer to a larger Constitution bench.
The petitioners in the case include women’s organisations, Ayyappa groups, State of Kerala and the Travancore Devaswom Board that manages the temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district.
The Kerala temple’s rule is aimed at keeping menstruating women away from its inner sanctum, citing that the deity, Lord Ayyappa, is celibate. However, In January 2016, the court had questioned the ban, saying it cannot be done under the Constitution.
While the previous Oomen Chandy government supported the ban, state Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had in November 2016 said that it was willing to allow women of all ages into the temple.