Activist Trupti Desai welcomes SC’s decision on Sabarimala issue

Pune: Women rights activist Trupti Desai on Thursday welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision to refer to a larger bench a batch of review petitions against its September 2018 verdict allowing entry of women of all age groups into the Sabarimala temple.

Speaking to ANI in Pune she said, “I welcome the decision given by the court today. I feel that the festival is just around the corner so the judicature must have felt that any new decision may instigate violence. But I also believe that the court must make the decision in the matter at the earliest so that the women can offer prayers at the shrine during the festive season.”

While Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman and Justice DY Chandrachud dissented, Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra sent the Sabarimala review to a larger Bench by a 3-2 ruling.

A Constitution Bench led by Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi had passed the order on a series of petitions seeking reconsideration of its September 2018 judgment that lifted the bar on menstruating women from worshipping in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

The apex court in a 4:1 ruling had set aside decades-old restrictions on the entry of women of age between 10 to 15 years inside the temple.

One of the five Judges, Justice Indu Malhotra had, however, dissented and ruled that judges should not impose their personnel views.

The verdict had sparked a series of protests across the state. This lead to the filing of 65 petitions seeking review of the top court’s order. The petitions challenged the authority of the court to intervene in a belief of the people.

It argued that the Sabarimala deity is a “Brahmachari” (celibate) and “centuries-old beliefs” should not be disturbed by the entry of menstruating women worshippers.