Sabarimala: SC refers review petitions against women entry to 7-judge bench

Agency News

New Delhi, Nov 14 : The Supreme Court on Thursday referred the petitions seeking review of its 2018 judgment allowing entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala, to a larger bench by 3:2 majority.

The decision to send the case to a bigger bench was a 3:2 majority ruling, with Justices RF Nariman and DY Chandrachud dissenting. A five-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, said, 'Petitions had sought to revive the debate about what's the religion and essential religious practices.'

The bench, also comprising Justices RF Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra said, 'Individual right to pray at temple cannot be superior to what is considered as religious by another sect is what petitions have argued.'

The apex court announced its verdict on a bunch of petitions, including 56 review petitions, four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas that challenged the September 28, 2018 ruling that ordered that women of all ages must be allowed into the famous Ayyappa shrine in Kerala, ending a centuries-old ban on women and girls between 10 and 50 years.

The bench had reserved its decision on February 6 after hearing various parties including those seeking reconsideration of the Top Court verdict. UNI