SC declines urgent hearing on plea seeking review of Sabarimala verdict

The Supreme Court on Tuesday declined an urgent hearing on a plea seeking review of its verdict allowing women of all age groups entry into the Sabarimala temple.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices S.K Kaul and K.M Joseph had considered the submission of Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through lawyer Mathews J. Nedumpara, which contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was "absolutely untenable and irrational".

"It will be listed in due court," the bench said, adding that in any case, the review petition will be heard in chamber and not in open court.

The lawyer, appearing for the Devotees Association, also sought a stay on the verdict and said the temple would be opening on October 16 for pilgrimage.

The bench, however, said the review petition can only be taken up after the Dussehra vacation.

Besides the Association, another petition seeking review of the September 28 verdict of the apex court has also been filed by the Nair Service Society (NSS).

A five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had in its 4:1 verdict, said banning the entry of women into the shrine is gender discrimination and that the practice violates rights of Hindu women.