SC to Hear Activist Bindu Ammini’s Petition on Entering Sabarimala

New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday take up a plea filed by women right activists Bindu Ammini and Rehana Fathima to seek safe passage for all women to visit the Sabarimala temple regardless of age or religion. The court hearing will take place at around 11am.

In her petition, Ammini, who visited the Sabarimala temple last year, said that the Supreme Court, while deciding to review its 2018 judgment allowing women of all ages to enter the temple had not ordered any stay, and hence, Kerala government must give protection to all women trekking to Sabarimala. Fathima has approached the apex court with a similar plea.

Ammini, along with another woman named Kanaka Durga, had entered the hill shrine on January 2 this year post the SC order in September 2018 allowing women of menstruating ages to offer prayers in the temple. The women were escorted by the police.

However, the Kerala government has changed its stance on facilitating women entry considerably since the Supreme Court on November 14 decided that a larger seven-judge bench should decide the matter, along with issues of other faiths such as Muslim women’s entry to mosques and cases female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra community.

Despite the top court not ordering a stay, the Kerala Police has said it will not give protection to any woman unless the court asks them to.

She was also attacked with chili powder on November 26 while she was on her way to the shrine along with Pune-based activist Trupti Desai.

She had slammed the Kerala government for not giving police protection and shirking duty under the pretext that there was lack of clarity in the SC judgment, at a press conference on Sunday.

A five-judge Constitution bench, by a majority of 4:1 in its verdict delivered in September last year, had allowed girls and women of all age groups to visit the Lord Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala, saying that discrimination on physiological grounds was violative of fundamental rights like the Right to Equality.