The Supreme Court has decided to hear review petitions on allowing entry of women of all the age groups in Kerala’s Sabarimala shrine, on February 6. The court was to hear the review pleas on January 22, but it had to be delayed as one of the judges of the five-judge bench, Indu Malhotra was on medical leave.
Earlier, the apex court had refused urgent hearing of the Sabarimala issue and said it will be taken up as per scheduled. The Supreme Court in September last year threw open the doors of the Sabarimala shrine to women of all ages, overturning a traditional ban on women of childbearing age from entering the temple.
Female devotees aged between 10 and 50 had for decades been barred from the shrine on grounds that the presiding deity is a celibate, and the court ruling enraged traditionalists in Kerala.
The LDF government of chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan said it was determined to uphold the court verdict. On January 2, two women in their 40s became the first to worship at the shrine, breaking the taboo and triggering unrest in many parts of Kerala.