Delhi: The Supreme Court to hear review petitions in open court from January 22. The Supreme Court's decision regarding the 49  review petitions was announced on November 13. The court said there is no stay on the earlier verdict allowing women of all ages to enter Sabarimala temple. A total of 49 review petitions have been filed before the court. Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi listed all review petitions for hearing and said that women will be allowed entry this year. The Supreme Court verdict on September 28 had triggered massive protests across Kerala.

The Supreme Court deliberated upon a clutch of 49 review petitions in-chamber. The petitions were considered by CJI Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Rohinton Nariman, AM Khanwilkar, DY Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. When a plea is heard in-chamber, lawyers representing parties to the case are not heard. Only the learned judges are privy to the deliberations before they take a decision.

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Allowing unrestricted access to the court proceedings is expected to enhance public awareness of intricacies of the faith of the sect of Lord Ayyappa's followers. The hearing could turn out to be a watershed moment in the history of evolution of religions in the country, as many living to the north of the Vindhyas may well begin respecting the belief system of the devotees who largely hail from Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. This, in turn, might blunt the attack on the faith by ill-educated or politically motivated feminists and their cheerleaders.

Around 14 women, including two journalists, have so far attempted to visit the temple with police security but they all abandoned their attempts after massive resistance from devotees. Sabarimala temple bars women of 10 to 50 years age group from entering the temple premises.

One of the review pleas said that the verdict "without holding that the questions raised related to matters of religion which are not within judicially manageable standards, the majority decision in substance has the effect of holding that the character of the deity can be altered based on individual faith and belief, in violation of the tenets of a particular religion and or religious sect".

The petitioners have also said that the verdict has "legal errors" and the assumption of the temple practice being based on notions of menstrual impurity is "factually erroneous".

The Kerala High on Tuesday took suo moto cognisance of special commissioner's report on violence at the Sabarimala temple on November 5 when the hill shrine was opened for Chithira Aatta Vishesham. The Special Bench for Devaswom matters comprising Justices P R Ramachandra Menon and N Anilkumar took cognisance of the matter. 

The special commissioner's report said that on November 5, several people had assembled at the temple to prevent entry of women devotees. Also, a 50-year-old women devotee was reportedly subjected to harassment.