Ayappa devotee body seeks recall of SC order to reserve verdict in Sabarimala case

New Delhi: National Ayyappa Devotees' Association Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking recall of its order which reserved verdict on pleas seeking review of an earlier judgement, allowing women of all age groups to enter the Sabarimala temple, on the ground that NADA was not allowed to advance arguments in the hearing.

A five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi Wednesday reserved its decision on pleas seeking re-consideration of the September 28, 2018 judgement.

"I am seeking recall of the yesterday's order by which the verdict was reserved on review pleas, because I was not allowed to advance oral arguments," lawyer Mathews J Nedumpara, appearing for NADA, told the bench.

"You file a written arguments within three days and if we are satisfied that it requires oral hearing then we will consider," said the bench, comprising the CJI and Justices Deepak Gupta and Sanjiv Khanna.

The lawyer alleged that he had raised fundamental questions of law in petition of NADA, but the Constitution Bench did not allow him to argue.

As many as 65 petitions -- including 56 review petitions and four fresh writ petitions including that of NADA and five transfer pleas -- were filed in the apex court after its verdict sparked violent protests in Kerala.

The apex court on Wednesday told lawyers it would hear only those who are parties to review petitions and did not allow others to argue the case, the lawyer said.

The organisation has also sought video-recording of the further proceedings in the case.

"The refusal to hear the petitioners' counsel has rendered the review petition wholly redundant, nay, as an exercise in futility, which is sure to result in great injustice. The petitioners say so because the contentions which their counsel sought to urge, but was not allowed, were those which nobody had urged," the plea said.

The apex court, by a majority of 4:1 on September 28 last year, lifted the ban that prevented women and girls between the age of 10 and 50 from entering the temple in Kerala and had held that this centuries-old Hindu religious practice was illegal and unconstitutional.

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