Sabarimala temple to open today evening

The Lord Ayyappa temple is all set to open today evening for the two-month long pilgrim season. The state government has said that it will not provide protection to women devotees between the age of 10-50 years of age who were allowed to enter the shrine last year after the apex court lifted the centuries-old ban on their entry.

The opening of the Sabarimala temple came two days after the top Court referred to a larger seven-judge bench the petitions seeking review of its 2018 decision to allow the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 into the shrine.

The case was referred to a larger bench by a 3:2 ruling.

The court said restrictions on women of all ages in religious places was not limited to Sabarimala only and was prevalent in other religions as well.

Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had said a larger Bench will decide all such religious issues that also includes – allowing Muslim and Parsi women to enter religious practice.

On September 28, 2018, the apex court, by a majority verdict of 4:1 had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the shrine in Kerala

After the verdict, violent protests triggered in Kerala. Female devotees as well as journalists were attacked by devotees near the Sabarimala Temple. 

Several educational institutions were forced to close amid widespread protests across Kerala.

A number of petitions were filed in the Top Court, seeking review of its verdict.