Sabarimala verdict: Review plea challenging order filed in Supreme Court

The SC court order affects the fundamental rights of millions of Ayyappa devotees, the petitioner said in his plea.

Published: 08th October 2018 12:12 PM  |   Last Updated: 08th October 2018 07:59 PM   |  A+A-

Members of Sabarimala Samrakshana Samithi staging a protest by blocking Vyttila Junction against the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala in Kochi on Tuesday | Express

By Online Desk

NEW DELHI: The President of the National Ayyappa Devotees Association on Monday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking review of its verdict allowing women of all ages inside Kerala's Sabarimala temple, according to a NDTV report.

The apex court order affects the fundamental rights of millions of Ayyappa devotees, Shylaja Vijayan said in his plea.

All those who had filed the cases in the Supreme Court for lifting the age restriction on women are not Ayyappa devotees, the petitioner Vijayan further said.

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The representatives of Sabarimala temple's tantri (chief priest) Kandararu Rajeevaru will skip a meeting called by Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to discuss the Supreme Court verdict amid protests by Lord Ayyappa devotees, one of the priests said on Sunday.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by then Chief Justice Dipak Misra, had in its 4:1 verdict, said banning the entry of women into the shrine is gender discrimination and that the practice violates rights of Hindu women.

The review petition filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president of the Devotees Association, said Lord Ayyappa, wanted to keep "himself not being distracted by the presence of ladies of fertile ages" and this is faith.

"Faith cannot be judged by scientific or rationale reasons or logic," the plea said.

"The notion that the judgment under review is revolutionary, one which removes the stigma or the concept of dirt or pollution associated with menstruation, is unfounded. It is a judgment welcomed by hypocrites who were aspiring for media headlines. On the merits of the case, as well, the said judgment is absolutely untenable and irrational, if not perverse," the Devotees Association plea, filed through advocate Mathews J Nedumpara, said.

The second petition filed by NSS, an organisation for the upliftment and welfare of the Nair community, said as the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari,' the females before the age of 10 and after the age of 50 years are eligible to worship him and there is no practice of excluding worship by females.

"Hence, the delay or wait for 40 years to worship cannot be considered as exclusionary and it is an error of law on the face of the judgement," the plea said.

The NSS said many essential religious practices will be rendered void and the religion itself may be rendered out of existence if the general ground of equality under Article 14 is resorted to and the essential religious practices are tested on the principle of rationality.

"Review judgment and order. On the ground that it is unconstitutional and void inasmuch as it is vitiated by errors apparent on the face of the record; that it is without jurisdiction or in excess of jurisdiction, that it is in violation of the principles of natural justice and that it is in violation of express constitutional provisions," the plea filed by Devotees Association said.

(With Inputs from PTI)

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