The five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday, with a 3:2 majority,
referred Kerala's Sabarimala
Temple Case to a larger bench of seven judges.
The bench did not put any stay on the judgment passed on 28 September 2018 that
had lifted the ban on entry of women between age 10 and 50 to the temple. Women
can still visit the shrine until the larger bench decides on the matter.
The bench also said the issue is not only related to women entering Sabrimala
temple but concerns entry of Muslim women in mosques. The larger bench will look
at all the issues of restriction imposed on women for entering religious places.
The five-judge constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI)
Ranjan Gogoi and members Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY
Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra had pronounced its judgment in the Sabarimala
On 28 September 2018, the apex court had ended an age-old practice of keeping
out women in their menstruating age from the temple and had called it
discriminatory. Following the decision, as many as 56 review petitions and some
fresh writ petitions were filed challenging the verdict.
The Court had heard the review petitions and writ petitions in open court before
reserving its verdict on 6 February this year.
Soon after the apex court’s September 2018 ruling, when women below 50 years of
age tried entering the temple, Kerala saw state-wide protests that later turned
violent. The temple town was virtually turned into a fortress with hundreds of
police personnel, including armed commandos and women cops above 50, deployed in
Ahead of the temple's annual pilgrim season, which is set to start on 16
November, Kerala's police chief Loknath Behra on Wednesday said over 10,000
police personnel will be deployed in phases during the two-month-long season.
Sabarimala temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is the most famous and prominent
among all the Sastha temples in Kerala.
Articles on Sabarimala:
Devotion Cannot Be Subjected To Gender Discrimination, SC Allows Women Entry
In Sabarimala By 4:1 Majority
Freedom of Religion and Sabrimala Judgement (2018)
Violation of Woman right in Sabrimala Temple
All about the Sabrimala Temple
Religion and Equality in Liberal Constitutionalism
A Year of Constitutional Morality
Sabarimala - Prejudices, Misconceptions and Ignorance