Sabarimala temple row: Apex court refuses early hearing of review petitions

The Supreme Court on October 31 refused to give an early hearing of review petitions against its verdict allowing the entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years in Sabarimala Temple in Kerala.

Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that the temple will be open for 24 hours on November 5 and 6, adding that the court has already fixed the matter for hearing on November 13.

Women of menstruating age have traditionally not been allowed to enter into the temple, but an apex court order on September 28 put an end to the restriction.

Earlier, the top court had noted that there were 19 review petitions pending in the matter, filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association and others seeking a review of court’s order allowing women of all ages into the temple.

The petitioners have also argued that besides “patent legal errors” in the verdict, the assumption that the temple practice is based on notions of menstrual impurity is “factually erroneous”.

Following this, the Sabarimala Temple and surrounding areas witnessed massive protests with close to 4,000 people being arrested. A dozen women were also forced to retreat when they tried to enter the holy shrine.