Apex court questions ban on women at Sabarimala

Apex court questions ban on women at Sabarimala

Apex court questions ban on women at Sabarimala

The Supreme Court on Monday questioned Kerala’s famous Sabarimala temple authorities for denying entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age, saying the practice caused grave injustice to gender justice.

A three-judge bench presided over by Justice Dipak Misra said though god is everywhere but if a woman finds her faith in an idol in a temple, how can tradition stand in the way of her right to worship.

“Any god or goddess can be worshipped anywhere by anyone. The power is all around us, omniscient. But you have structured god into an idol. Women want to come to your temple and worship him there. Why don’t you allow them,” the bench posed the query to temple authorities while starting hearing on a PIL by the Indian Young Lawyers Association.

As senior advocate K Parasaran, appearing as amicus curiae and senior advocate K K Venugopal, representing the temple trust maintained it was long practised tradition, the bench said, “We will decide whether this tradition overrides constitutional provisions.

What right do you have to forbid women from entering any part of the temple? This is a class grievance from women denied their right to worship”. The Kerala government, represented by senior advocate V Giri, has defended the restriction imposed on entry of women in Sabarimala temple, saying the rituals, ceremonies and modes of worship are exclusive matters of religion protected under the Constitution.

It said the Sabarimala temple is unique as it allowed entry of devotees from different faiths, including Muslims, so the view taken by the priests is final. Venugopal claimed that the temple trust is entitled under the Constitution to manage its affairs.

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