Did You Know Why Supreme Court Referred Sabarimala Women Entry Case To 7-Judge Larger Bench?
Politics of Kerala has seen sharp polarization in the past one year over the issue of entry of women of all age groups into the Lord Ayyappa temple of Sabarimala. In September 2018, the Supreme Court had ordered unrestricted entry of women into the Sabarimala temple. The ruling LDF led by the CPI(M) initially favored the judgment and promised to make arrangements for ensuring entry of women in the Sabarimala temple.
The Congress-led UDF, the principal Opposition party in Kerala, and the BJP threw their weight behind the devotees of Lord Ayyappa who had hit the streets in protests that had turned violent at many places. Later, even the LDF government developed cold feet.
Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi-led bench of the Supreme Court declared the age-old ban on entry of women aged 10-50 into the Sabarimala shrine and the rules listed in Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules of 1965 validating the ban as unconstitutional.
It was a 4:1 majority judgment. The lone dissenting judge was Justice Indu Malhotra, the only woman member of the bench. The other judges of the bench were Justices AM Khanwilkar, RF Nariman and DY Chandrachud.