Sabarimala case: Seven-judge bench to be constituted soon, says Supreme Court

ANI New Delhi, India Dec 13, 2019, 04.32 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

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The top court had last year allowed girls and women of all age groups to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, following which a batch of review petitions was filed.

The Supreme Court on Friday said that its 2018 order on Sabarimala temple issue was "not final" as the matter is pending before a seven-judge bench, which it said will be constituted soon.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of India S A Bobde made these observations while passing an order on a petition filed by two activists -- Bindu Ammini and Fathima A S -- seeking safe passage for women inside the shrine.

"There is a judgment [allowing women entry] in the Sabarimala temple, but it is equally true that the issue has been referred to a larger Bench. We do not want any violence," the court observed.

The apex court, however, granted police protection to the two activists.

In November, a man had sprayed chilli and pepper on Bindu's face when she was on her way to Sabarimala temple. Fathima had also tried to enter the shrine.

The court refused to pass any other order in connection to the matter.

The top court had last year allowed girls and women of all age groups to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, following which a batch of review petitions was filed.

Allowing their review petitions, the court had last month referred the matter to a seven-judge bench. It is yet to be constituted.