Will try for stay order on 2018 Sabrimala verdict, says BJP leader

Shilpa Nair, BJP leader and one of the petitioners on the issue of entry of women into the Sabrimala temple, said on Thursday she was hopeful of a larger bench going into what the “rights” of the temple deity are.

She said she would try and get a stay order on last year’s verdict allowing women of all ages to enter the temple.

Nair, who is Kerala BJP State Committee member, told IANS that with the matter being referred to a seven-judge bench, it will be “looked at more carefully, and will be more researched and investigated as to what this temple stands for and what actually the deity’s right is”.

She tweeted: “The initial petitioners suggested gender discrimination, when there is no discrimination at Sabrimala and it is only about the deity’s wishes.”

Nair told IANS: “The first petitioner was Indian Young Lawyers Association which cited women discrimination, when there is no such thing. It has nothing to do with that because this temple has been following a tradition for many years, because the nature of the deity is Naishtika Brahmacharya (an intense kind of celibacy), and we ourselves are not going to that place during that age. Women enter the temple after that age and there is no discrimination.”

Nair said she was hopeful the larger bench would give a decision in their favour.

“But I’m disappointed as we have not got a stay order on the September 28, 2018 verdict, because we saw a lot of turmoil happening and violence was going on. Violence was not instigated by the devotees. So I will be discussing with my lawyers on what we can do on this, whether we can get a stay order.”

On the Kerala government, she said “We request the state government that let the devotees pray in peace, please don’t create issues there, let them complete this mandala kalam.

“I am hopeful with the Central government… the BJP manifesto also mentions that Sabrimala’s ritualistic worship and traditions will be preserved. And the way in which they have kept their word on Article 370 and Ram temple, we are hopeful with the BJP,” she added.

The Supreme Court in a 3:2 verdict referred the Sabrimala review pleas to a larger bench. However, there is no stay on the September 28, 2018, judgement, which lifted the ban on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50.

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