SC refers Sabarimala temple's ban on women to Constitution Bench

Sabarimala Temple

Sabarimala Temple

Goplakrishnan expressed his views when Supreme Court made a decision to refer the matter relating to women's entry in Sabarimala temple to its larger Constitution Bench. One of the significant aspects to be decided by the Constitution bench is whether restriction imposed, on entry into the temple amounts to infringement of fundamental rights of women. He asked Prayar what he actually meant when he said no woman will tread Sabarimala even if the court permitted the same.

The order was passed by a three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan. The temple bans the entry of women aged 10 to 50 into the temple, and the Indian Young Lawyers' Association has filed a writ petition against this practice. The ban, the petition says, is discriminatory and violative of Article 14 of the constitution (right to equality).

Among the questions referred to the bench include the question of whether or not any group of people - women in this case - can be prevented from entering a Hindu place of worship according to current laws. It said Article 25 of the constitution gives the temple the right to manage its own affairs. I am hoping that tomorrow also entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive.

The CPM-led Left Front government in 2007 had filed an affidavit saying that it favoured entry of women in the temple but this position was reversed in an affidavit filed by the Congress-led UDF government in February 2016. But now both men and women are equal.

Whether Rule 3 of Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules permits "religious denomination" to ban entry of women between the age of 10 to 50 years? Article 15 of the Constitution places a clear constitutional obligation on the state to not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth.

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