From tomorrow, the Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will commence hearing on the matter relating to entry of women to Sabarimala temple. It was on October 13, 2017, that a three judges bench of CJI Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan referred the matter to Constitution Bench, raising the following issues :
The reference has been made on writ petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution of India by Indian Young Lawyers Association contending that the restriction imposed on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years to Lord Ayyappa Temple at Sabarimala is unconstitutional. Senior Advocates Raju Ramachandran and K. Ramamoorthy have been appointed as amicus curiae in the matter.
During the course of the hearing, the CJI-led three judges' bench had asked: "How can menstruation be linked to purity?"
Several groups have intervened in the matter to advance their respective positions on the issue. The NGO "Happy to Bleed" has intervened to oppose the restriction, terming it as an outdated taboo against menstruation. On the other hand, another women group "People for Dharma", which campaigns that real woman devotees are 'ready to wait' until 50 to enter the temple, has intervened to support the restriction, stating that real devotees do not feel discriminated by the practise.
The newly formed Constitution Bench consists of Chief Justice Dipak Misra,J ustice R F Nariman, Justice A.M Khanwilkar, Justice D Y CChandrachud andJustice Indu Malhotra.