Kerala

Legislation on Sabarimala women entry not possible: CM Pinarayi

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Monday said it was not possible for the state to bring in any legislation to circumvent the Supreme Court verdict permitting women of all age groups into the Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple.

The apex court verdict of September 28 last year was not similar to that of the ruling related to Jallikattu or bullock cart race, he told the state assembly in response to a question by the opposition UDF.

“The Supreme Court verdict regarding the Sabarimala women entry is the one related to that of the fundamental rights. The state government is bound to implement the apex court order,” Vijayan said.

The Supreme Court had in September last year paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala, lifting the ban on women in the age group of 10 to 50 from worshipping at the shrine.

A review petition has been filed against the September 28, 2018 verdict and the top court is expected to deliver its order on it later this month.

Barring women in menstrual age would amount to the violation of their fundamental rights and would go against the Constitution, the chief minister said.

As per legal opinion received by the state government, it was not possible to bring in any legislation to get around the verdict, he said.

Those who talk about bringing in legislation on Sabarimala women entry were “cheating” devotees, he said.

The Left veteran also reiterated his government had not forced any woman to climb Sabarimala and it was up to the women to decide whether they want to go to the Lord Ayyappa temple or not.

The CPI(M)-led LDF government, led by Vijayan, had faced severe criticism over the entry of two women in the menstruating age group, into the Sabarimala shrine during the last annual pilgrimage season.

The portals of the shrine would be opened for the three-month long annual pilgrimage season this year on November 16.

PTI

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