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Supreme Court to Pronounce Entry Of Women at Sabarimala Temple

Supreme Court will pronounce its order on the ban on women's entry into Sabarimala Temple. Will it be another landmark judgement?

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Sabarimala Temple
The Sabarimala Temple Does Not Allow Entry Of Women As A Part Of Age Old Tradition. Wikimedia

New Delhi, October 13, 2017: The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a Constitution Bench the question whether a ban on the entry of women in the age group 10-50 years in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple was discriminatory and violative of the Right to Equality under Article 14.

A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan also framed six questions to be addressed by the Constitution Bench.

The petition was filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association, challenging the custom of the temple to bar entry of women in the 10-50 age bracket (of menstruating age).The custom had been termed as ‘discriminatory’ in their petition.

Sabarimala Temple
The Supreme Court will declare its decision on the long-existing ban on entry of women. Wikimedia

The Constitution Bench will deal with questions whether this practice amounted to discrimination against the women. The apex court also framed a question on the violation of rights under the Constitution with regard to the entry of women into the temple.

The reason for the ban on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years as stated by the management of the Sabarimala temple, located on a hilltop in the Western Ghats of Pathanamthitta district was because they cannot maintain “purity” on account of menstruation.

With this verdict by Supreme Court, the long sustaining protest against the entry of women tends to put an end to the practice.

The temple, built in the 12th century, is located in Pathanamthitta district and is dedicated to Lord Ayappa.

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Sabarimala Tantri Gets More Time to Explain Purification Rituals

Vijayan had said that Rajeeveru has every right as a person to differ with the court order but if he was not able to digest the verdict, he could well have quit his post

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Sabarimala
Kerala to revise list of women who prayed at Sabarimala.

Sabarimala temple custodian, the Travancore Devasom Board (TDB), on Monday extended time to Tantri Kantararu Rajeeveru to explain why a “purification” ritual was conducted following the visit of two women devotees to the Lord Ayyappa shrine just after New Year, said a board official.

“Till Sunday he was at Sabarimala. Now that he is free, he might have to take opinion from others before he gives his reply. So we gave him another 15 days time,” TDB president A. Padmakumar told the media here.

“Generally when a normal purification ritual is done, the tantri does not need to take the permission of the TDB, but what happened on January 2, was not a normal one,” Padmakumar added.

The temple was shut for an hour around 10.30 a.m., on January 2, for “purification rituals” after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed two women — Bindu Ammini and Kanaka Durga, belonging to the hitherto banned age group — completed a ‘darshan’ at 3.30 a.m. in Sabarimala.

“We have asked for an explanation from him (Rajeeveru), why the TDB permission was not sought,” said Padmakumar.

Photo: www.swamyayyappa.in

On January 4, after serving the notice to the tantri, Padmakumar said the purification ritual went against the directive of the Supreme Court that on September 28 allowed all women entry inside the shrine.

Action against the tantri for closing the shrine to conduct the “purification” ritual would depend on his explanation of the action, especially as Vijayan had asked the TDB to take a serious look into the matter.

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Confirming the entry of Kanaka Durga and Bindu Ammini then, the Chief Minister had said that the state abided by the apex court directive and had come down heavily on the tantri for the blatant violation.

Vijayan had said that Rajeeveru has every right as a person to differ with the court order but if he was not able to digest the verdict, he could well have quit his post. (IANS)