Kerala government won’t appeal against Sabarimala verdict: CM

Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday declared that the Kerala government won’t file a review petition against a Supreme Court ruling that women in the age group of 10-50 can also enter the famed Sabarimala temple.

“It is not possible to file a review petition by the Kerala government against the verdict as we had told the apex court in our affidavit that we will abide by whatever the court rules,” he told the media.

“Hence it’s not now possible to file a review petition,” said Vijayan, amid widespread protests against the September 28 verdict.

Vijayan pointed out a few instances where women in the banned age group had entered the temple in the past and how some traditions at the temple had undergone changes.

“What everyone should understand is that this present ruling has come not because the state government filed a petition. This has been heard at the Kerala High Court and the final ruling came from the apex court. Now that it has come, we will adhere to it,” he said.

In a majority 4:1 judgment, the Supreme Court said the ban on women in the menstruating age group, whose presence in the Lord Ayyappa temple was considered to be “impure”, violated their fundamental rights and constitutional guarantee of equality.

Until now, girls below 10 years and women over 50 years were allowed to visit the hilltop shrine, located in the Western Ghats and about 130 km from Thiruvananthapuram. The temple is hugely popular in southern India.

Meanwhile, Congress leader Ramesh Chennithala said that both the state and the Centre can file review petitions.

In a related development, state BJP President P.S. Sreedharan Pillai said they had decided to join the devotees protesting against the verdict.

The Nair Service Society, the social and cultural organisation of the Hindu Nair community, on Monday filed a review petition against the apex court verdict.