New Delhi: The Supreme Court completed hearing the review petitions in connection with the Sabarimala women entry issue. Other petitions will be considered at 2 in the afternoon.
Adv. Jaideep Gupta who appeared for the state government said there is no need to review the verdict. The government argued that the tantri is trying to create ambiguities in the ritual related matters. A challenge on the ground of untouchability or any other provision will not affect the verdict, he argued.
"Sabarimala is a public law issue and has to pass test of constitutional validity. Sabarimala case cannot be reopened by way of review petitions."
As many as 65 petitions, excluding contempt of court, came up for hearing before the apex court.
The SC commenced hearing on pleas seeking review of verdict that had allowed women of all age groups entry into Sabarimala temple. The hearing is being conducted in an open court.
Advocate K Prasaran, appearing for Nair Service Society, opens arguments before five-judge bench. Advocate Parasaran seeks setting aside of verdict that allowed women of all ages entry into Sabarimala temple.
Advocate K. Parasaran who appeared for NSS (Nair Service Society) in the Supreme Court demanded that the concept of untouchability should be defined as it seems to have no connection with the restriction for entry of young women in Sabarimala temple.
Adv. K. Parasaran started his argument pointing out the Supreme Court verdict issued in 1955. Untouchability occurs only when the person is not considered as a human being, which is not an inter-party conflict. He also argued that the consequences of verdict can influence other religions as well.
The court had mentioned the same in the case of Jehovah's Witnesses. Parasaran also argued that the court intervenes only when the rituals are most absurd. He noted that the court had asked not to look for logic while hearing the case of Bijoy Immanuel.
After the NSS finished its arguments, the counsel of the tantri began his arguments.
Advocate V. Giri said in the court that people visit worship centres to pray and not to challenge the nature of the deity. The tantri has special rights in religious matters and the restriction on entry of young women is an inevitable part of the rituals, he said.
Adv. Manu Abhishek Singhvi, who appeared for former president of Devaswom Board, said that Sabarimala is not a science museum but a temple. Women are not restricted in the Sabarimala temple. Only the women of a particular age group are restricted here. The restriction is not based on caste but according to nature of the deity, he argued.
Among the petitions, 55 are review petitions while five are writ petitions. There are two transfer petitions and two seeking special permission besides the Travancore Devaswom Board’s petitions seeking more time to implement the verdict.
The petitions will be considered by a five-member bench led by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi. As these petitions are being taken up for the first time, the apex court will first consider their validity to decide whether they should be accepted or rejected.
If accepted, the SC is likely to direct to issue a notice to the opposition party and post the matter for further hearing on another day. The petitions will be considered at 10.30 am.