The judicial fight between feminists’ fight for the right of women to enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala and resistance by followers of Ayyappa Swami including women continues. The Supreme Court today responded to some review petitions filed in this case, asking it to intervene immediately, with CJI SA Bobde saying that review petitions had been sent to the Constitution Bench of seven judges of the apex court.
The court told petitioner Rehana Fathima, who has been excommunicated from the Islamic community for evincing interest in the worship of a Hindu deity, that it will not issue a judgment or order on her petition right away.
The CJI said that the Supreme Court order of the year 2018 was not a final one. He said that the matter was still pending with the Constitution bench of seven judges.
CJI Bobde said that there were some topics of the kind in the country, which were “explosive”. The subject of Sabarimala is one of them. He said it was not right to issue orders today. “We have read in the newspaper that sentiments of the people is attached to this matter. It will not be right to issue any order today,” the CJI said.
While petitioner Bindu Ammini’s lawyer Indira Jaising argued that there was no restriction on the order of the year 2018 and that women of all ages could visit the Sabarimala temple, CJI Bobde replied that the court was aware that there was no restriction on the order of 2018, but “we are exercising our rights. We will not issue any order.”
The petitioner said that order us to go to the temple. The court said that neither we will order to go to the temple, nor to stop going to the temple. We will not pass any order. On the plea of the petitioner, the Chief Justice said that if the temple administration welcomes to go inside, then you go.
The CJI Bobde said that the Constitution bench (proposed by his predecessor, then CJI Ranjan Gogoi) of seven judges would be constituted soon, which would hear the matter.
The Supreme Court in its order said that the security cover of petitioner Bindu Ammini would continue. The court said that if Fathima pleaded for safety, the local police would look into it and “if there is a need to provide security, they will give security”.