Bill to bypass SC verdict is impossible, says CM

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has said that legislation preventing women’s entry to the Sabarimala temple, bypassing the Supreme Court judgment, is impossible, as the judgment deals with the issue as one regarding Fundamental Rights.

Replying to a question raised by the Opposition on the government’s stand on the issue in view of the upcoming Sabarimala review petitions in the Supreme Court, he pointed out that the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government at the Centre also had made this clear in Parliament, although the party was in the forefront of the protests against women entry.

Political dividend

“Those who had initially taken a stand in support of the judgment later reversed it and created tension to draw political dividends from it. The stand taken by the BJP and the Congress regarding a Bill to bypass the SC judgment was meant to deceive the devotees. They always knew that it is impossible to introduce such a Bill. The LDF government had made this clear back then itself. The legal opinion the government got was also along this line. It is not right to compare this with the Tamil Nadu government’s Bill to bypass the judgment on Jallikattu, as this deals with an issue of Fundamental Rights,” he said.

The Chief Minister reiterated that the government had always stood for the interests of the devotees.

“The government does not work for any particular section. We have always taken a stand in support of the devotees. But, when one section of devotees attack another section of devotees, the government had to step in to protect the victims of the attack. It is for the women devotees to decide whether they want to go to the shrine. The government has not on its own brought any woman to Sabarimala,” Mr. Vijayan said.

He said that former Governor P.Sathasivam, a former Chief Justice, had made it clear that the State government was bound to follow the Supreme Court verdict regarding the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple. The Central government had also informed the State that Central forces be sent, if needed. Although the Centre had taken such a stand, the political party heading that government had played a role in stirring up tension during the pilgrimage season.

The government will, as in the previous years, take all steps to ensure law and order at Sabarimala during the pilgrimage season, he said.

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