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Sabarimala verdict: Travancore Devaswom Board to discuss filling review petition next week, says not many women would visit shrine

After the Supreme Court on Friday ruled that women of all ages will be allowed entry into Lord Ayyappa's Sabarimala temple in Kerala, the president of Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB), administrative authority of the temple said on Sunday that not a large number of women would visit the temple.

TDB president A Padmakumar said that the board held discussions with Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and promised toilet facilities would be made in the Nilakkal area. He, however, said that there would be some limitations in making all the necessary arrangements as the pilgrim season is about to start.

The TDB president also confirmed that the board will discuss filing a review plea against the judgment on 3 October. The TDB had earlier said that the organisation was neither happy nor disappointed with the verdict. However, ANI had reported  Padmakumar saying that he will go for a review petition after getting support from other religious heads.

As reported earlier, a senior TDB official had said that "the government has set up a high-level committee to speed up the works in view of the coming season. We may be able to restore many of the lost facilities, but creating additional facilities for women within such a short time is an impossible task."

A Constitutional Bench headed by CJI Dipak Misra passed a verdict allowing women of all ages to access to the iconic temple and said that rules of the temple administration restricting entry of women between 10 to 50 years violated Articles 14 and 25 of the Constitution. The judgment has evoked reaction from women rights activists, temple authorities and politicians among others.

On Friday, after the verdict, Travancore Royal Family representative Sasikumara Verma had said that the court had relied heavily on the argument that there was discrimination against women in the Sabarimala temple. “This is not true. There is only a restriction on the (entry of) women of certain age. This is a reasonable restriction. I hope the court will realise this and correct the decision,” he had added.

ANI quoted WCD minister Maneka Gandi as saying, "It’s a wonderful decision. It opens up and brings the way forward for Hinduism to become even more inclusive and not a property of one caste or one sex."

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Updated Date: Sep 30, 2018 15:27:41 IST