The Supreme Court has announced that it will on Tuesday decide when to hear the 19 review petitions filed by the devotees of Lord Ayyapa against the Kerala government, which has abided by the apex court's previous ruling on the Sabarimala temple matter.
The case was brought to the notice of a bench headed by CJI Ranjan Gogoi on Monday by Mathews Nedumpara. The CJI stated that the court will look into the matter on Tuesday while adding, "We are aware 19 review petitions have been filed. File whatever you have to. We will decide on the hearing tomorrow."
In the petition filed to the topmost court of the country, the petitioner's have questioned the September judgment of the five-judge bench, which in a 4:1 judgment ruled that women of all ages will now be allowed to enter the holy temple.
Claiming that the faith and fundamental rights of millions were getting violated by the decision, a se of the petition read, "It is unbelievable that the fundamental rights, freedom, liberties, faith and beliefs of the Petitioners, so too millions of devotees of Lord Ayyappa, particularly women of the fertile age group, are violated by the majority judgment dated 28th September, 2018 passed by a Constitution Bench of this Hon'ble Court in Writ Petition (Civil) No.373 of 2006, a so-called PIL."
The writ petition also attacked Kerala government of acting against its very own people. "The Government of Kerala, democratically elected by the people of Kerala acted against its sovereign duty to protect the faith and belief of millions of devotees of Lord Ayyappa qua a few activists who are not devotees of Lord Ayyappa, who have not undertaken the penance of 41 days to visit Sabarimala shrine, but who were taking recourse to the judgment of this Hon'ble Court and asserting a right to visit the shrine for name, fame and political considerations even while Review Petitions in challenge of the said judgment are pending before this Hon'ble Court," the petitioners have argued.
Ever since the apex court gave out its judgment on this matter in September, a number of protests have taken place across the country. The women, despite getting the democratic right to pray inside the temple, have not been allowed to enter the premises as protestors resorted to violence and forced them back.