Politicians, activists hope new SC bench to solve Sabarimala issue once and for all

deccan chronicle

Nation, Current Affairs

The SC on Thursday referred to a larger bench the petitions which sought review of the top court judgement of 2018.

The politicians and the activists, in anticipation, hope that the larger bench would pass a verdict in their favour. (Photo: File)

New Delhi: The September 28, 2018 judgement of the Supreme Court - which had lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 to 50 from entering the Sabarimala Temple -was not stayed by the apex court today.

The SC on Thursday referred to a larger bench the petitions which sought review of the top court judgement of 2018.

Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, reading the verdict on behalf of himself and Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, said the larger bench will decide all such religious issues relating to Sabarimala, entry of women in mosques and practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.

Gogoi said, "The entry of women into places of worship is not limited to this temple only. It is also involved in the entry of women into mosques."

Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice DY Chandrachud gave dissent judgement.

Following the verdict, BL Santosh, the national general secreatary of the BJP welcomed the top court's decision. Taking to Twitter, he wrote, "#Sabarimala issue referred to larger bench ... Welcome decision of SC in the direction of protecting rights of devotees & upholding faith ... It was never a matter of fundamental rights. It was a matter of age-old tradition accepted by society..''

Kummanam Rajashekharan of the BJP said that SC has upheld the traditions of the Sabarimala. "This verdict has made it clear that the state should not involve itself in the matters of faith...I hope the state government does not try to get young women into the temple." He further said the 2018 statement was 'flawed' and that Kerala government should show restraint til the 7 bench judge gives its verdict.

The Kerala Congress leader, Ramesh Chennithala also welcomed the SC verdict and said that the verdict is in line with the stand of the Congress. "The sentiments of devotees have been upheld, now my only request is that the state government should not vitiate the situation,'' he said.

Earlier in the day, Rahul Easwar, who had been at the forefront of the fight against the 2018 judgement related to Sabarimala temple had said that if the verdict does not go in their ''favour'' they would have Jallikattu model protest ordinance. ''It would save every temple, church, and mosque from external interference,'' he said.  

Ram Madhav of the BJP, too welcomed the decision.  On Twitter, he wrote, "Supreme Court's decisions today are important. On Sabarimala it didn't uphold d smaller bench order of last year. Hence Kerala govt shouldn't precipitate d matter."

Congress' Shashi Tharoor also tweeted saying, "I welcome the SC's decision to refer the vexed #Sabarimala issue to a larger bench. The issues involved have implications for the practice of all faiths."

Read | Sabarimala: Entry of women continues, larger SC bench will hear objections

However, women's rights activist Trupti Desai who had attempted to enter the temple back in 2018 but was stopped remains hopeful that the order will not be overturned by the larger bench.

"This 3 judge bench is also in favor of women's rights and I believe that larger bench will also give decision after hearing in women favor," she said.


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