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2018 Sabarimala verdict not final: CJI SA Bobde


NEW DELHI:  As protests continue at the Lord Ayyappa temple, Chief Justice of India SA Bobde on Thursday said that the September 2018 apex court judgment permitting women to enter the Kerala temple is not the last word on the issue. The CJI made the observation while hearing a plea by a Kerala woman seeking protection to enter the temple.

Bindu Ammini had approached the court seeking directions to be issued to the Kerala government to ensure that the September 2018 judgment is implemented and women are ensured a safe passage to the temple.

During a brief hearing, senior counsel Indira Jaising, appearing for Ammini, mentioned the matter before CJI for early listing since the temple will soon be closed to pilgrims for this season and said that Ammini was attacked using chemicals when she was returning after visiting the police commissioner.
Jaising also pointed out that the September 2018 SC judgment had not stayed. On this, CJI Bobde remarked that the judgment is not the last word on the issue since a larger Bench will hear the review petitions against the 2018 judgment.

He, however, agreed to hear Ammini’s petition next week along with a similar petition filed by another woman from Kerala, Fathima AS. On September 28 last year, the SC had struck down a law barring entry of women in the age group of 10-50 years into the hill shrine in Kerala.