Four women have moved the Supreme Court seeking to intervene as parties in support of its last September's historic judgment which allowed women of all age groups into Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The apex court is all set to hear the review petitions against the verdict from Wednesday.
Reshma C V, Shanila, Bindu A and Kanakadurga, hailing from Kerala, have filed applications seeking to be heard as intervenors. They are supporting the verdict. There are around 48 pleas seeking review of the judgement filed following the violent protests in favour and against the September 28 verdict.
Of the four, Bindu and Kanakadurga, aged 44 and 42, were the first to have stepped into the hallowed precincts after the top court's historic judgement lifted the ban on entry of girls and women between 10 and 50 years of age into the shrine of Lord Ayyappa, its eternally celibate deity. The other two applicants -- 33-year-old Reshma and 29-year-old Shanila, had twice attempted to enter the temple, first on January 15 and again on January 19. However, they were heckled and prevented by some self-proclaimed devotees after which they had to discontinue.
"There are thousands of women waiting for Darshan at Sabarimala and are awaiting the final outcome of the review petitions when this court would be pleased to hear and finally decide. The applicants may be permitted to intervene and make their submissions before this court when the Review Petitions are heard by this court, in order to oppose the Reviews," said Reshma and Shanila in their application. Bindu and Kanakadurga, in their application, said, "The judgment of this court on September 28, 2018, upheld the dignity, liberty and equality of women of all ages and sent a strong message to the society against menstrual taboo. Proposed intervenors pray that they may also be heard to oppose the review, in case this court is inclined to review the judgment. It is in the interest of justice that the Proposed Intervenors are heard".
On November 13 last year, the apex court had agreed to hear in open court in January this year the pleas seeking review of its verdict but had refused to stay the judgement. However, on January 22, the top court had said it may not start hearing the pleas, seeking review of Sabarimala verdict till January 30 as one of the judges of the bench, Justice Indu Malhotra, was on medical leave. Justice Malhotra, the lone woman judge on the bench, had delivered the dissenting judgement in the case last year.
(With inputs from agencies.)