Things do not augur well for Sabarimala protestors on many counts. The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved judgment on the 56 review petitions against the verdict allowing women in the child-bearing age to worship at the shrine.
Again today, it refused to continue hearing and reasserted that arguments should be given in writing. The Travancore Devaswom Board standing by the women entry verdict. With the shrine to open for the monthly pujas on February 12 and a decision on the review petitions only much after that, the Sabarimala Karma Samiti is forced to keep its agitation 'live'.
The agitators are sore over the devaswom’s U-turn as prior to the verdict, it was against young women entry. It had now 'ditched’ devotees, they claim.
The Samiti has decided to observe Friday as a protest day, but has not given a hartal call as that could invite the wrath of the High Court. On Thursday, the court refused to hear the review petitions again on a plea to withdraw the order issued on Wednesday and continue hearing on the petitions.
The court on Wednesday heard the arguments on major petitions and directed other lawyers to submit their arguments in writing. But today, it reiterated the stand and refused to entertain the plea of National Association of Ayyappa Devotees Mathew Nedumpara for further hearing.
A section of the petitioners admit that a review of the verdict is a remote possibility as the arguments raised were more or less the same before the court pronounced the verdict on September 28.
A verdict on the review petitions would be pronounced around the time the Lok Sabha election campaign picks up and Sabarimala would be the major plank for campaign.