Sabarimala verdict: Here's a Timeline on entry of women into temple
New Delhi, Nov 14: The Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously agreed to refer the religious issues to a larger bench, while the five-judge bench by a 3:2 verdict decided to keep pending the pleas seeking a review of the top court's decision allowing the entry of women of all ages to the shrine.
Following is the timeline of events relating to the entry of women into the Sabrimala Ayyappa Temple.
1990: S Mahendran files plea in Kerala High Court seeking a ban on women's entry to the temple.
Apr 5, 1991: Kerala HC upholds age-old restriction on women of a certain age-group entering the temple.
Aug 4, 2006: Indian Young Lawyers Association files plea in SC seeking to ensure entry of female devotees between the age group of 10 to 50 at the Lord Ayappa Temple at Sabarimala.
Nov 2007: LDF government of Kerala files affidavit supporting PIL questioning ban on women's entry.
- Jan 11: Two-judge bench of SC questions practice banning entry of women at the temple.
- Feb 6: Congress-led UDF government takes U-turn, tells SC it is duty-bound to "protect the right to practice the religion of these devotees".
- Apr 11: SC says gender justice endangered by the ban on women.
- Apr 13: SC says tradition can't justify the ban on women's entry.
- Apr 21: Hind Navotthana Pratishtan and Narayanashrama Tapovanam file a plea in SC supporting entry of women.
- Nov 7: LDF government files a fresh affidavit in SC saying it favoured the entry of women of all age groups.
- Oct 13, 2017: SC refers the case to the constitution bench.
- Oct 27: Plea filed in SC for a gender-equal bench to hear the case.
- Jul 17: Five-judge constitution bench starts hearing the matter.
- Jul 19: SC says women have the fundamental right to enter the temple and questioned the rationale behind the age group.
- Jul 24: SC makes it clear that the ban on entry of women would be tested on "constitutional ethos".
- Jul 25: Nair Service Society tells SC the celibate nature of Sabarimala temple's presiding deity Lord Ayyappa is protected by the Constitution.
- Jul 26: SC observes it can't remain oblivious to ban on entry of women as they were barred on "physiological ground" of menstruation.
- Aug 1: SC reserves verdict.
- Sep 28: SC, in 4:1 verdict, allows entry of women in Sabrimala temple, says banning females' entry into the shrine is gender discrimination and the practise violates rights of Hindu women.
- Oct 8: Plea in SC by National Ayyappa Devotees Association seeks review of the judgement.
- Oct 23: SC agrees to hear the review pleas on Nov 13.
- Nov 13: SC agrees to hear the review pleas in open court on Jan 22, refuses to stay the judgement.
- Nov 14: SC declines to stay its verdict.
- Dec 3: Kerala govt moves SC seeking transfer of related cases from HC to the apex court.
- Jan 22: SC says it may not start hearing in the case till Jan 30 as Justice Indu Malhotra, lone woman judge of the 5-member Constitution bench goes on medical leave.
- Jan 31: SC to hear review pleas on Feb 6.
- Feb 6: SC reserves verdict on review pleas.
- Nov 14: SC refers to the larger seven-judge bench for re-examining various religious issues, including entry of women into Sabarimala temple and mosques and the practice of female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.
- Five-judge bench gives 3:2 majority verdict, keep pending the review pleas.