Published On : Fri, Jan 15th, 2016

Lawyer fighting for women to enter Sabarimala temple complains of death threats; SC refuses to withdraw case

sabarimala templeKerala/Nagpur: A lawyer who is fighting for the right of women to enter the famous Sabarimala Ayyappa temple in Kerala has told the Supreme court that he has received hundreds of death threats warning him to drop the petition, making him seek police protection.

Naushad Ahmed Khan, President of the Indian Young Lawyers Association, is one of the two lawyers who had filed a plea in the Supreme Court against women been barred from entering the temple.

Khan also expressed his wish to withdraw the case, however, the SC said that it was not possible to withdraw a PIL such as this.

The Supreme Court said that it would appoint an ‘Amicus Curiae’ to solve the Sabarimala Temple case constitutionally. The court will hear the matter on January 18.

The term ‘Amicus Curiae’ is referred for someone who is not a party to a case or solicited by any of the parties to assist a court.

The apex court had earlier questioned the prohibition on allowing women to enter the Lord Ayyappa Temple in Sabarimala, stating that such a practice had no constitutional basis.

“I have received more than 700 telephone calls, including some calls from international telephone numbers, since Wednesday. These callers are (trying to) force me to withdraw the petition,” Khan told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The Supreme Court had on Monday questioned the age-old tradition of banning the entry of women in the menstrual age group inside the historic Sabarimala temple in Kerala, saying it cannot be done under the Constitution.

“The temple cannot prohibit entry (women), except on the basis of religion. Unless you have a constitutional right, you cannot prohibit entry. Anyway, we will examine it on February 8,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said.