In a major development post-Sabarimala SC verdict review, Kerala Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran on Friday has stated that the government will not give permission or protection to women activists who come to Sabarimala, while addressing reporters in Thiruvananthapuram. He added that Sabarimala was not a place for activism and that women devotees only with proper permission. Sources report that the Kerala Advocate General C. P. Sudhakara Prasad has advised the government to not permit women into the shrine till there is clarity on the recent Supreme Court verdict.
Earlier on Thursday, the minister had stated that the state government will accept the Supreme Court's decision on the Sabarimala issue and was bound to implement the order. But he revealed that govt has sought clarification from legal experts on the Supreme Court's order to review its 2018 verdict , referring it to a 7-judge SC bench. He added that the matter will be resolved in a matter of days.
He had also slammed political parties like BJP and other Opposition parties alleging they had tried to politicise the issue since last year. He stated that there were many personal attacks against the CM and even the govt was criticized heavily for this adding that there was no stay on women's entry into the shrine since 28 September 2018. The shrine is set to open for its Mandalam season on Saturday.
Earlier on Thursday, a 5-member constitution bench of the Supreme Court comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice Nariman, Justice Khanwilkar, Justice Chandrachud, and Justice Malhotra on Thursday referred the Sabarimala review pleas to a 7-member larger bench by a 3:2 verdict. While delivering its verdict, the apex court clubbed the entry of women in mosques and the tower of silence, the legality of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community along with the Sabarimala issue. But there will not be a stay on the earlier judgment which allowed the entry of women between the age group of 10 to 50 years into Sabarimala temple.
On September 28, 2018, the SC lifted the ban on entry of women belonging to all age groups in the Sabarimala temple. This sparked off huge protests across Kerala. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which manages the shrine, argued that the SC could not interfere with a century-old belief. The ban on entry of women has been justified on the grounds that Lord Ayyappa, the presiding deity is celibate. On the other hand, the government of Kerala supported the verdict maintaining that religious practices that clashed with fundamental rights could be set aside. After hearing the review petition filed by the TDB, Pandalam Royal Family and a group of devotees, the bench had reserved its verdict on February 5.