SC to appoint an Amicus Curiae to solve Sabarimala Temple case

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The Supreme Court said that it would appoint an Amicus Curiae to solve the Sabarimala Temple case constitutionally. The court will hear the matter on January 18.

It may be mentioned Amicus Curiae is referred for someone who is not a party to a case or solicited by any of the parties to assist a court.

NA Khan, one of the two lawyers who is fighting for the right of women to enter Sabarimala Temple, said he had received hundreds of death threats, including some to blow up his house, if he did not drop his plea in the SC and hence sought protection for his life.

Khan also wanted to withdraw the case, but the Supreme Court (SC) said it was not possible to withdraw a PIL such as this. On the next date of hearing, the court will decide what sort of security be given to him.

“The temple cannot prohibit women’s entry, except on basis of religion. Unless you have a constitutional right, you cannot prohibit entry. Anyway, we will examine it on 8 February,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and NV Ramana said.

When the SC asked the Travancore Devaswom Board, which manages the Sabarimala Temple, the Kerala government and temple officials replied the “ages-old tradition” clearly states women of reproductive age cannot enter the shrine for they are impure if they are menstruating.

“The chief deity in the temple is a celibate. So allowing women to worship in the shrine is a sin,” said the chief priest Thazhamon Madom Kandararu Rajeevaru.

The hilltop temple only allows entry to girls aged under 10 and women over 50.

Last December, Laxmi Shastri, a social activist, had petitioned the court arguing such bans on women violate Articles 14 (equality), 15 (prohibition of discrimination), 25 (freedom to practise any religion) and 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs) of the Constitution.