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Aug 1, 2018 73 tweets 21 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
1. The Bench has assembled and hearing begins in the #Sabarimala Petition.
2. Mr. Ramamoorthy, Amicus Curiae for the Respondents, commences his submissions. #Sabarimala
3. Mr. Ramamoorthy submits that today through the Petition the very existence and origins of Lord Ayyappa have been questioned. #Sabarimala
4. Justice Indu Malhotra asks for a clarification with respect to allowance of women between the ages of 10 and 50 through the Northern gate of the #Sabarimala Temple. Mr. Ramamoorthy submits that it was an aberration and not reflective of the actual practice of the Temple
5. Mr. Ramamoorthy is placing reliance on the Shirur Mutt decision. #Sabarimala
6. Mr. Ramamoorthy is reading out extracts from the Jehovah Witnesses' judgement. #Sabarimala
7. Mr. Ramamoorthy is reading out extracts from S. R. Bommai judgement. #Sabarimala
8. Mr. Ramamoorthy submits that it was the State Government which passed the Rules under challenge, it is the State Government which has reversed its position due to political compulsions. #Sabarimala
9. Mr. Ramamoorthy cites Justice John Marshall to support his position. #Sabarimala
10. Mr. Ramamoorthy has concluded his submissions
11. Mr. R.P. Gupta begins his rejoinder. The CJI asks Mr. Gupta to meet the arguments of the Respondents, which are not easy points to meet, including Article 290-A. #Sabarimala
12. The CJI asks on what basis did the Petitioner approach the Court in the matter. #Sabarimala
13. Mr. Gupta cites article 14. The CJI observes that Article 14 does not apply since the practice is protected under Article 25(1). #Sabarimala
14. Mr. Gupta attempts to place reliance on the evidence placed before the Kerala High Court. The CJI observes that we need not get into it and asks him to meet the arguments of the Respondents. #Sabarimala
15. The CJI observes that the Deity is a celibate Deity and it is the Deity's will and right to protect his vow of Naishtika Brahmacharya
16. The CJI observes that the Deity has the right to restrict who can enter into the Temple. #Sabarimala
17. Mr. Gupta tries to place a newspaper article on record. The CJI and Justice Chandrachud refuse to take the article on record saying it is not an authentic document. #Sabarimala
18. Justice Nariman observes that the restriction is not because women are kept out because of them being women but because of the character of the Deity. #Sabarimala
19. Justice Nariman asks how is Article 14 even applicable in this case. This involves the rights of a denomination. Article 14 does not apply. #Sabarimala
20. Justice Nariman questions the relevance of Mr. Gupta's submissions and asks him to meet the Respondents argument of Naishtika Brahmacharya nature of the Deity. #Sabarimala
21. The CJI asks Mr. Gupta to read Para 39 of the 1991 judgment of the Kerala High Court which categorically holds that the Deity is in the form of Naishtika Brahmachari which is the basis of the practice of the #Sabarimala Temple.
22. The CJI then asks Mr. Gupta to read out Para 41 of the Kerala High Court judgment which further reinforces the celibate nature of the Deity. The CJI observes that this is the fulcrum of the Respondents' argument and asks him to meet the argument. #Sabarimala
23. Mr. Gupta has concluded his submissions. Ms. Jaising is now submitting in rejoinder. #Sabarimala
24. Ms. Jaising wants the Court to extend the law relating to Harijans to the practice of the #Sabarimala Temple.
25. Ms. Jaising submits that there is one word in Article 15 which has prevented the Court from evolving the jurisprudence relating to gender justice. #Sabarimala
26. Justice Nariman asks Ms. Jaising how Article 15(1) even apply to the Temple. Ms. Jaising places reliance on Article 13. She submits that the Supreme Court has never addressed whether a custom under Article 13 can be voided by the Supreme Court. #Sabarimala
27. Justice Nariman observes that Ms. Jaising has to first prove that the custom has the force of law before inviting the Court to interfere with it. #Sabarimala
28. Ms. Jaising submits that the central question is whether there is discrimination on the basis of gender or not in this case. #Sabarimala
29. Ms. Jaising is saying that even if the practice discriminates only between women v. Women, it still requires the Court to rule on the issue. #Sabarimala
30. Justice Chandrachud observes that even if there are other considerations other than sex, if the impact is felt by one gender, perhaps it could attract Article 15.
31. Ms. Jaising submits that more than the basis, the impact of the practice must be considered. #Sabarimala
32. Court rises for lunch. Rejoinder continues post lunch.
33. Ms. Jaising resumes her rejoinder submissions. The CJI informs her that she has to wrap it up quickly since the Bench intends to the commence hearing in the next matter. #Sabarimala
34. Ms. Jaising says that if a custom is broken, then its not a custom. #Sabarimala
35. Justice Nariman says that whether a custom has been departed from, whether the departure is significant is a matter of evidence which the Court has to look into. #Sabarimala
36. Ms. Jaising agrees that it is for the court to look into based on evidence. She is now addressing the issue of the celibate nature of the Deity. #Sabarimala
37. She says celibacy is not enough reason to keep the women out. Ms. Jaising points out that it is based on stigmatising women and stereotyping women as being seductive. #Sabarimala
38. Justice Indu Malhotra points out that the practice is not based on the alleged seductive quality of women, but on the requirements of the 41-day vratham. #Sabarimala
39. Ms. Jaising says she will now address other aspects. She says that this case is about reform of Hindu practices relating to women. #Sabarimala
40. Ms. Jaising submits under Article 25(2), social reform includes reform based on gender. #Sabarimala
41. Ms. Jaising submits that Article 17 can be extended to any other category which shares attributes of untouchability. #Sabarimala
42. Ms. Jaising submits that even if the Deity is a person, it does not follow that the Deity has fundamental rights. #Sabarimala
43. Ms. Jaising submits that the right of personage does not translate to vestation of fundamental rights under Article 25(1). #Sabarimala
44. Ms. Jaising submits that rights under Article 25(1) are vested only in sentient beings, not institutions or corporations. #Sabarimala
45. The CJI observes that the Deity has a right to privacy under Article 21 with respect to certain rites observed in the Temple. #Sabarimala
46. The CJI observes that the issue of Deity's rights flow from Articles 25(1) and 26 and the application of the essential religious practices text. #Sabarimala
47. On a lighter note, Ms. Jaising is drawing the Court's attention to a play between Justice Ruth Ginsberg and Justice Scalia on issue of treatment of Constitutional provisions. #Sabarimala
48. Ms. Jaising has concluded her submissions. Mr. Raju Ramachandran now begins. #Sabarimala
49. Mr. Ramachandran wishes to address the aspect of Petitioner's pleadings and the need for a trial to examine evidence. #Sabarimala
50. Mr. Ramachandran points out that the Kerala High Court judgment is the consequence of a devotee approaching the High Court to strictly enforce the religious practices of the #Sabarimala Temple.
51. Mr. Ramachandran points out that any lacunae in the pleadings of the Petitioner is immaterial since the Petitioner here is taking the cause of the women's organisations who contested the matter before the Kerala High Court.
52. Mr. Ramachandran submits that trial is needed for proving that the devotees of Ayyappa indeed fall under a religious denomination under Article 26. #Sabarimala
53. Mr. Ramachandran submits that he will now deal with the arguments of Dr. Singhvi, Mr. Parasaran and Mr. @jsaideepak. #Sabarimala
54. Mr. Ramachandran submits that he is not agitating rights under Article 14, but under Article 25(1). #Sabarimala
55. Mr. Ramachandran submits that if the rights of the Petitioner are located under Article 25(1), then no other consideration matters, including the rights of other devotees or the Deity or the Temple. #Sabarimala
56. Mr. Ramachandran submits that morality under Article 25(1) is only constitutional morality and not sectional or denominational morality. #Sabarimala
57. Mr. Ramachandran submits that class under Article 25 (2) refers to classes of women as well. #Sabarimala
58. Mr. Ramachandran submits with respect to the rights of the Deity under Article 25(1) as argued by Mr. @jsaideepak. Mr. Ramachandran submits that only a human being exercises rights, Deity doesn't exercise any rights under Article 25. #Sabarimala
59. Mr. Ramachandran submits that even the rights of the Deity, if they exist, are subject to Constitutional morality. #Sabarimala
60. Mr. Ramachandran submits that the non-applicability of Article 290-A, as contended by Mr. @jsaideepak, does not affect the challenge to Rule 3 (b).
61. Mr. Ramachandran submits that Mr. Gopal Sankaranarayanan's argument with respect to Ayyappa devotees attracting the definition of a religious denomination doesn't satisfy the tests laid down by this Court. #Sabarimala
62. Mr. Ramachandran has concluded his submissions. Now submissions are being made by Advocate Surendranath on behalf of another individual intervenor. #Sabarimala
63. Mr. Surendranath supports the contentions of the Petitioner. #Sabarimala
64. Mr. Wils Mathew, Advocate for an intervenor, supports the Petitioner. #Sabarimala
65. Mr. Jaideep Gupta now submits on behalf of the State Government. He supports the Petitioner's case.
66. Mr. Jaideep Gupta submits that the Devaru case allows the State to interfere with religious practices through Article 25(2).
67. Mr. Ramachandran submits that Article 17 applies to the impugned religious practice of the #Sabarimala Temple.
68. Mr. Jaideep Gupta submits that the proviso of Section 3 and the Section itself must be harmonised. #Sabarimala
69. Mr. Jaideep Gupta submits that the test of what constitutes a religious denomination was not applied by the Kerala High Court in its judgement. #Sabarimala
70. Mr. Jaideep Gupta submits that there is no common theme or thought in the practice of the faith of #Sabarimala or a common organization. #Sabarimala
71. Mr. Ramachandran submits that even if celibacy at the heart of the practice, there is nothing that says that women must be kept out. The Bench does not accept this submission. #Sabarimala
72. Mr. Jaideep Gupta finally submits that the Constitution is reformist. Mr. Jaideep Gupta has concluded his submissions. #Sabarimala
73. Hearing concluded in the #Sabarimala matter. Judgement reserved.

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More from @People4Dharma

Jul 31, 2018
1. The Bench has assembled. The #Sabarimala hearing resumes.
2. Mr. V. K. Biju appears for @RahulEaswar an intervenor supporting the Temple. #Sabarimala
3. Mr. Biju wishes to place before the Court certain extracts from Commonwealth debates which are of relevance to the issue at hand. #Sabarimala
Read 26 tweets
Jul 26, 2018
1. #Sabarimala hearings have commenced. Mr. K. Radhakrishnan appears for Respondent No. 19, the Pandalam Royal family, the family of Lord Ayyappa
2. Mr. Radhakrishnan is analysing Article 25 and submits that the provision has no equal anywhere in the world. #Sabarimala
3. Mr. Radhakrishnan submits that women of child bearing age restrain themselves from entering the Temple, they are giving effect to and respecting the will of the Deity. #Sabarimala
Read 134 tweets
Jul 25, 2018
1. Arguments in the #Sabarimala Petition resume. Mr. Parasaran now argues for the Nair Service Society.
2. Mr. Parasaran submits that Kerala is an educated society
3. Mr. Parasaran submits that 96% of the women in Kerala are educated. They are independent. It is a matrilineal society. Therefore to assume that the practice of the #Sabarimala Temple is based on patriarchy is fundamentally incorrect
Read 66 tweets
Jul 24, 2018
1. #Sabarimala hearings commence. Dr. Singhvi submits on behalf of the Travancore Devaswom Board that he is limiting the scope of his submissions to only the Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple.
2. Dr. Singhvi is placing before the Court the history of the #Sabarimala Temple and the requirements of the vow to be observed for 41 days prior to visiting the Temple.
3. Dr. Singhvi submits that every Ayyappa devotee who observes the vow is himself treated as a Swami, which epifies the line Tat Tvam Asi
Read 60 tweets
Jul 19, 2018
#Sabarimalahearing 1. Mr. Raju Ramachandran has resumed his submissions as the Amicus Curiae in support of the Petitioner
2. Mr. Ramachandran submits that while Article 17 was originally intended to tackle untouchability emanating from caste, nothing stops the Court from expansively interpreting it just as Article 21 has been interpreted over the years. #Sabarimala
3. Mr Ramachandran submits that if the basis for exclusion under traditional untouchability is defilement or pollution of the premises, the same logic applies to untouchability on account of defilement caused by menarche. #Sabarimala
Read 32 tweets
Jul 18, 2018
#Sabarimalahearing 1. Mr. R.P.Gupta, counsel for Indian Young Lawyers Association (the Petitioner), has resumed arguments. He again walked through the Order dated October 13,2017 wherein reference was made to the Constitution Bench
2. Mr. R.P.Gupta reiterates his position that #Sabarimala Temple has Buddhist origins. The Bench questions the relevance and authencity of the submissions in this regard.
3. Mr. R.P.Gupta is walking the Court through the Provisions of the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act to make the case that the #Sabarimala Temple is part of State under the Constitution
Read 36 tweets

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