The Supreme Court on Monday said that it will decide a date on Tuesday as to when to hear the review petition challenging its September 28 judgment allowing women of all ages to enter the Sabarimala shrine.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul considered the submissions of lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara that his petition seeking review of the constitutional bench judgment be listed for urgent hearing.
"We know that there are 19 review petitions pending. By tomorrow we will decide," the bench said.
Nedumpara was mentioning the petition filed by National Ayyappa Devotees Association.
The court had on October 9 declined an urgent hearing on Nedumpara's plea which had contended that the five-judge Constitution bench verdict lifting the ban was "absolutely untenable and irrational".
The bench had said that the review petitions could only be taken up after the Dussehra vacation, adding that in any case, it will be heard in chamber and not in open court.
The petition filed by Shylaja Vijayan, president, National Ayyappa Devotees Association through Nedumpara, had submitted that, "Faith cannot be judged by scientific or rationale reasons or logic".
"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 petition had submitted.
"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 principles of natural justice and that it is in violation of express constitutional provisions," the plea had said.
Besides the Association, another petition seeking review of the September 28 verdict of the apex court had also been filed by the Nair Service Society (NSS), an organisation for the uplift and welfare of the Nair community.
It had said that as the deity is a 'Naistika Brahmachari, females below 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 had said.
The NSS had said that many essential religious practices will be rendered void and religion itself may be rendered out of existence if the general ground of equality under Article 14 is resorted to and essential religious practices are tested on the principle
The Supreme court decison comes amid heightening tensions all across Kerala over the apex court's judgment lifting the decade-old ban on women's entry to the Sabarimala shrine.
Earlier on Sunday, six more women were prevented from entering the Sabarimala shrine by a large number of devotees of Lord Ayyappa. According to police sources 12 women in the 10-50 age group have so far been prevented from offering worship at the temple, since it opened for the monthly pooja.
Kerala has been witnessing protests against the entry of girls and women of menstrual age into Sabarimala temple since the government had said it would abide by the ruling of the apex court.
The agitation intensified since the shrine was opened for the five-day monthly pooja on October 17.
On September 28, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court, headed by then chief justice Dipak Misra in a 4:1 judgment had lifted the centuries-old ban on the entry of women of menstrual age into the shrine.