The Supreme Court of India (SC) Thursday referred the Sabarimala matter to a larger SC bench. The 7-Judge SC bench will now examine the case. There was a 3:2 verdict for sending the matter to a larger bench. A constitution bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and comprising Justices Rohinton Fali Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra issued the verdict in the case.
On September 28, 2018, the Supreme Court had revoked the ban on entry of women aged between 10 years and 50 years into Lord Ayyappa's temple in Sabarimala, Kerala. The southern state had witnessed high drama and protests by devotees and right-wing activists last year against the CPI(M)-led LDF government's decision to implement the top court's order.
The SC pronounced its order in as many as 65 petitions - including 56 review petitions and four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas - which were filed after violent protests in Kerala over the Sabarimala case verdict.
Follow BusinessToday.In for Live Updates from Supreme Court:
11.00 am: No stay on SC's 2018 judgement, women can continue to enter Sabarimala temple
10.56 am: We should celebrate SC's verdict: Activist Rahul Easwar
10.54 am: Temple issue sent to larger bench in 3:2 verdict, Justices Nariman and Chandrachud dissent
10.45 am: Sabarimala issue sent to a larger SC bench.
10.40: Petitioners wanted to revive debate on what is religion.
10.35 am: All 5 judges have signed the Sabarimala verdict,.
10.30 am: CJI reading Sabarimala verdict.
10. 25 am: Sabarimala verdict file brought to the court.
10.20: Security beefed at the Dewaswom board as the SC is set to deliver verdict on 56 review petitions.
10.05 am: Action packed week for Supreme Court as it pronounces verdict on Rafale, Rahul Gandhi and Sabarimala
This has been a hectic week for the Supreme Court as CJI Ranjan Gogoi is all set to deliver verdict on the pending cases before him before he retires from office on Sunday (17 November). The apex court will pronounced its verdict on a host of review please challenging the Sabarimala judgment, Rafale deal and a contempt plea against Congress MP Rahul Gandhi for his "chowkidaar chor hai" remark.
9.47 am: Arguing for Ayyappa's rights in Sabarimala just like Ram Lalla has rights in Ayodhya: Activist
"Just like the Sri Ram Lalla deity has rights in Ayodhya, we are arguing for Ayyappa's right in Sabarimala," said Rahul Easwar, an activist, in an interview with India Today TV.
9.32 am: Everyone should accept Sabarimala verdict, whatever it may be, says Temple board chief
A Padmakumar, the outgoing president of the Travancore Devasom Board (the autonomous temple body that manages the shrine), has requested the general public to accept the Sabarimala verdict by the CJI-led constitution bench at the Supreme Court. "The Board's request to everyone is that we should accept the verdict whatever it may be. We hope that the state government will act in accordance with the verdict," he said.
9.15 am: Sabarimala temple to open on November 16 for two month long pilgrimage season
The Sabarimala temple will open its doors on Saturday (evening), November 16, for two month long Mandalam Makaravilakku season. Kerala's police chief, Loknath Behara, said that there will be tight security for two months and nearly 10,00 police personnel will be deputed in phases in and around the temple.
8.45 am: CJI-led bench to deliver verdict on Sabarimala at 10:30 am
The SC will deliver its ruling on the review petitions at 10:30 am. The verdict will be pronounced by the CJI Ranjan Gogoi-led constitution bench. The bench will give its judgement on 64 petitions, comprising review pleas and transfer pleas challenging the apex court's 2018 decision on allowing women entry into the Sabarimala temple.
8.20 am: Why are women devotees not allowed in Sabarimala temple?
Sabarimala is an ancient temple in Kerala. The temple is widely believed to be unreachable for nearly three centuries after it was established. Prince of Padalam Dynasty Manikandan rediscovered the path to the temple in 12th century. He was considered to be an avatar of Ayyappa who was widely believed to be a celibate and hence, should not be distracted with a woman's presence around him.
8.14 am: Accept SC verdict on Sabrimala like Ayodhya: Kerala Devaswom Minister to BJP
Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Tuesday asked the BJP, which has welcomed the recent Supreme Court order on Ayodhya, to also respect the apex court verdict on Sabarimala permitting women of all ages to pray at the Lord Ayyappa shrine. Surendran, who was replying to a question posed by the lone BJP legislator O Rajagopal, also asked the saffron party not to encourage "goons and anti-socials" to go to Sabarimala. Rajagopal had sought a reply from the minister on the arrangements made at the hilltop shrine ahead of the annual pilgrimage season.
7.50 am: Justice Indu Malhotra who is the only woman judge on the CJI-led bench that will review verdict on Sabrimala issue had earlier disputed women devotees' entry in the temple owing to the unique character of the deity who is a celibate god. She said that the restriction to women entry was not based on any social exlusion.
7.45 am: Likely scenarios in the Sabrima verdict review petition matter
- The scenario can pan out two ways. The bench can reject all the petitions and the September 2018 verdict allowing women across all age groups will stand or the bench can accept the petition and refer it to a larger constitutional bench.
- The Sabarimala Ayyappa temple will open for the pilgrimage season on November 16th. 10,017 police personnel have been deployed on duty across the Sabarimala region which are Sabarimala, Nillakal, Pamba, Erumeli.
The bench will comprise of the same judges except the CJI. CJI Ranjan Gogoi will replace justice Deepak Mishra in the five judge bench.
7.15 am: Sabrimala Verdict Review Petition: Recap
- On 28th September 2018, a five judge bench of the Supreme Court took a historic judgement announcing that women of all age groups could visit the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple.
- This was a four - one majority with the lobe woman, Justice Indu Malhotra voting against the decision. Others on the bench were former CJI Deepak Mishra, Justice RF Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice DY Chandrachud.
- Post the verdict, there were many protests in the state of Kerala. Protesters blocked Nilakal which was about 20kms ahead of the Sabarimala Ayyappa temple and checked vehicles to ensure no woman between the ages of 10-50 went uphill.
- Many journalists were assaulted and cars damaged and over 50,000 protesters booked by the police.
- Many women, activists and journalists went up the hill with police protection as the Kerala government was adhering to the supreme court verdict. The protesters threw stones and many women returned to base.
- Two women, Bindhu and Kanagadurga managed to walk all the way up the temple and offered their prayers before sunrise. Protesters attacked their homes and they had to be in hiding post their worship.
- About 65 petitions were brought before the supreme court post the September 2018 judgement. The court has clubbed it all together and will hear the matter at 10:30 on Thursday morning.