New Delhi (NVI): The Supreme Court today referred pleas against women’s entry to Sabarimala temple to a seven-judge bench, observing that restriction of women into religious places is not limited to Sabarimala temple alone.
A five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi referred the petitions seeking review of its previous judgment in the Sabarimala case to a larger bench by 3:2 majority.
The apex court in its September 2018 ruling, the apex court had lifted a ban on menstruating women from entering the Sabarimala temple.
Justice Gogoi, read the verdict on behalf of himself and Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra, said the restriction of women into religious places is not limited to Sabarimala and that a seven-judge bench will decide all such religious issues relating to the temple, entry of women in mosques and practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
However, Justices R F Nariman, D Y Chandrachud gave dissenting verdict in the case.
On September 28, 2018, a five-judge bench headed by the then chief justice Dipak Mishra had delivered a landmark 4:1 ruling setting aside decades-old restrictions on the entry of women of menstrual age at the temple. Temple custodians argue that women of menstrual age are prohibited from offering prayers as the Sabarimala deity Ayyappa is a celibate.