The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on over 50 pleas seeking a review of its historic verdict that threw open the Sabarimala temple in Kerala to women of all ages. The Kerala government and the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), which runs the temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, have opposed any review of the order. A five-judge bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi heard in open court the review pleas filed among others by the Nair Society, the temple’s ‘tantri’ or head priest, and a former chairman of the temple board.
The state government through senior advocates Jaideep Gupta and Vijay Hansaria argued that there was no need to review the order. “An unconstitutional practice cannot be allowed, social peace will eventually come,” Gupta told the bench comprising justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, Indu Malhotra and DY Chandrachud.
Appearing for the board, senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi said the board would abide by the court order to allow all women to enter the temple. “Women have been excluded from many walks of life for long. They must be now included.” He also contested the position of those who have sought a review of the ruling that the practice was essential to religion. Text and scripture do not indicate so, he said.