New Delhi: The review petitions that were filed against the Supreme Court verdict of September, 2018, allowing women entry to Sabarimala, have also been referred to the 7-judge bench of the apex court. Earlier, the 7-judge bench was constituted to look into the matters of faith alone.
Once the petitions are transferred to the 7-judge bench, it can directly give verdict in the case.The Supreme Court Assistant Registrar said that the case will be taken up in January.
On 14 November, the apex court did not give a verdict on the review petitions that were filed challenging its earlier verdict allowing women entry. The 5-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice, Ranjan Gogoi, in a majority verdict, left the question of religious aspects to a higher bench that would be constituted in the future.
The 7-judge bench will consider 8 matters which will also include Sabarimala case.
After the verdict, there were attempts by many women activists to enter the holy shrine saying that there was no stay in the September, 2018, verdict of the apex court.
However, fearing a backlash, the communist government desisted from giving protection to these women. Without government support the activists backed out and a relative calm Sabarimala season is underway.
The Kerala government’s action comes after the communist party faced a setback in the Lok Sabha election. Only one of its candidate could win from the state. In addition, they fear a dip in revenues from the holy shrine like last year. The loss of revenues at a time of financial crunch in the state is more than what the government can take.