[dropcap]T[/dropcap]ODAY, the Supreme Court refused to give direction to the Kerala Government to allow entry of women of all age groups to the Sabarimala temple pursuant to the 2018 judgement of the constitution bench. However, the court clarified that there is no such stay on the 2018 judgement of this court.
A review was sought of the 2018 judgment, after consideration of which, the Apex Court had referred the matter to a larger bench by its judgment in November 2019. Chief Justice of India (CJI) S A Bobde assured that a seven judges bench will soon be constituted to settle the issue.
During the hearing, senior advocate Indira Jaising asked that “the court is well aware of the law and that there is no stay”.
To which, the court reaffirmed that “the law is in your (petitioner’s) favour and that there is no stay. We are exercising our discretion because it might lead to violence”.
Ms Jaising who was arguing on the behalf of Bindu Ammini also asked the court to grant protection to Bindu. The court agreed and directed 24/7 police protection to Bindu and also extended it to Rehna Fathima, who was represented by senior advocate Colin Gonsalves.
Bindu was also attacked with an acid-like substance when she made an attempt to make the pilgrimage to Sabarimala after the November 2019 judgement, which is now referred to a larger bench. She was refused any protection from the Kerala Police.
During the arguments, CJ Bobde said “it is a practice that has been going on for thousands of years. The balance of convenience requires that no orders should be passed in favour now. If the matter, which has been referred, is found in your favour, we will certainly pass orders that you seek”.
“The situation at the moment is explosive. We don’t want any violence”, CJI Bodbe added.
After the 2018 judgement of the Supreme Court that permitted entry of women in the temple, Bindu along with KanakaDurga were the first two women who entered Sabarimala temple in January, 2019. Following this, the duo received threats and approached the apex court for protection. Pursuant to their application, the Supreme Court directed Kerala government to provide them “round the clock” security.