New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver its verdict on a clutch of petitions filed at the apex court against its September 2018 judgement lifting the nearly three-decade-long ban on the entry of women in the age group of 10-50 in Kerala’s Sabarimala shrine.
The verdict, which is expected to come out at around 10:30 AM, will be pronounced by a five-judge Constitution bench headed by the outgoing Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi and also comprising Justices RF Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra, who was the only dissident in the original verdict.
Earlier, in February, the bench had reserved its judgement on 56 review petitions, four fresh writ petitions and five transfer pleas against the September 28, 2018 ruling by a Constitution bench headed by then-CJI Dipak Misra and comprising all the four judges of the current Constitution bench.
Violent protests had broken out across Kerala in the aftermath of the top court verdict, as well as in January, after some women within the said age group were finally able to enter the shrine. The ruling Left government came under heavy fire from Hindu groups as well as the BJP for saying that it would implement the court’s order.
The Sabarimala verdict comes in the aftermath of last Saturday’s landmark ruling in the decades-long Ayodhya land dispute case in which the sole ownership of the disputed site was granted to the Hindu side. BJP’s ‘welcoming’ of the Ayodhya verdict has triggered allegations of hypocrisy from the opposition which has questioned as to why the saffron party didn’t welcome the Sabarimala verdict as well.
Top BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah had openly expressed their support for those protesting against the SC’s verdict.
The Supreme Court will also pronounce today its judgement on the Rafale case.