Bind Ammini, one among the two women who first entered the Sabarimala temple after the 2018 Supreme Court judgment, has filed an application in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Government of Kerala to "protect the rights of all women regardless of age to enter the Sabarimala temple without hindrance in any manner".
The application alleges that after the November 14 order of the Supreme Court in Sabarimala review petitions, the Kerala Government has taken a stand against entry of women in the age of 10-50 years in the temple.
Bindu Ammini, who is a teacher of law, stated that she was sprayed with "some chemical substance having burning sensation" when she attempted to visit the office of Kochi City Police Commissioner on November 26 to seek police protection to make pilgrimage to the temple. She, along with few women from Maharashtra - Trupti Desai and Saraswati Maharaj- had planned to visit the temple on that day.
After a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court held the ban on entry of women in the age group of 10-50 to be unconstitutional in its judgment delivered on September 28, 2018, Bindu along with another woman named Kanakadurga had entered the temple on January 2, 2019.
Following this, the duo approached the Supreme Court complaining of threat to life from agitated protesters. On January 18, the Supreme Court directed the Kerala Government in their plea to provide "round the clock" security to them.
She states in the application that she is motivated by Dalit identity to fight for Constitutional values like gender equality and that her belief was that Dharma Shasta, who had two wives and children, was the deity at Sabarimala.
"Applicant believes that faith, religion, custom all are always below other fundamental rights. Applicant is not a caste Hindu, but belongs to Dalit community. Her belief is that Dharma Shasta is the deity at Sabarimala. Dharma Shasta had two wives and children. Applicant believes that no has the right to question her faith. Applicant is motivated by Dalit identity to fight for constitutional values like gender equality, fraternity etc", says the application filed through Advocate Prashant P.
In the present application, Bindu Ammini says that police completely ignored the top court's directives. After the November 14 order in the Sabarimala review petitions, whereby certain issues relating to religious practices were referred to a larger bench, the State Government has taken a stand that there is a "defacto stay" of the original judgment, states Bindu's application.
"The stand of the State Government has given a free hand to unlawful elements to intimidate any women aged between 10-50 from visiting Sabarimala. Absence of any help from police has created an atmosphere of terror to any women who is in the age group between 10 -50 or any women resembling that age group form violent physical, psychological threats", states the application.
The application states that the top officials of the government are in gross contempt of the orders of the Supreme Court.
"The stand of the State Government that if any woman aged between 10-50 want to visit Sabarimala they must come with an order from this Hon'ble Court is in gross contempt of the orders already passed by this Hon'ble Court", the application says.
The petition also seeks to direct the immediate cessation of age verification and counselling done by police officials to discourage women of menstruating age from entering the temple.
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