New Delhi, November 14, 2019: The Supreme Court on Thursday referred to a larger constitution bench a batch of review petitions against its September 2018 verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple.
While Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice DY Chandrachud dissented, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra sent the Sabarimala review to a larger Bench by a 3-2 ruling. "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," Chief Justice Gogoi said while reading out the verdict.
A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had passed the order on a series of petitions seeking reconsideration of its September 2018 judgment that lifted the bar on menstruating women from worshipping in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The apex court in a landmark 4:1 ruling had set aside decades-old restrictions on the entry of women of age between 10 to 15 years inside the temple.
One of the five Judges, Justice Indu Malhotra had, however, dissented and ruled that judges should not impose their personnel views.
The verdict had sparked a series of protests across the state. This lead to the filing of 65 petitions seeking review of the top court's order. The petitions challenged the authority of the court to intervene in a belief of the people.
It argued that the Sabarimala deity is a "Brahmachari" (celibate) and "centuries-old beliefs" should not be disturbed by the entry of menstruating women worshippers.