SC to take up plea on women's right to enter temples

SC to take up plea on women's right to enter temples

Supreme Court of India. (File Photo)

The Supreme Court is likely to take up in January 2020 a batch of petitions related to women's right to enter places of worship of their respective faiths and other religious practice.

The matter has been referred to a seven-judge bench following review petitions against the 2018 judgement, that allowed all age group females to visit Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

On Saturday, a notice was issued by assistant registrar stating all review petitions and connected matters will likely to be listed before the court in January 2020.

On November 14, a five-judge Constitution bench referred to a seven-judge bench the questions arising out of an entry of women into Sabarimala temple. The court said similar pending questions related to Muslim women's right to enter 'dargah' and mosque, and permission for Parsi women, married to a non-Parsis entry into the holy fireplace of an 'Agyari' and practice of female genital mutilation among Dawoodi Bohar community would require authoritative determinations.

Subsequently, a bench presided over by Chief Justice S A Bobde said that women, desirous to visit the Sabarimala temple, should wait until the seven-judge bench finally decided the “emotive” issue of their entry to the shrine of Lord Ayappa. The court had twice orally observed that the 2018 judgement was not the last and final word in view of the pendency of the matter before the seven-judge bench.

A five-judge bench by a majority view of 3:2 had then said it was essential to adhere to judicial discipline and propriety when more than one petition was pending on the same, similar or overlapping issues, for which all cases must proceed together.

“Indubitably, decision by a larger bench will also pave way to instil public confidence,” the majority view had said, after noting that the issues involved here related to the interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution touching upon the right to profess, practice and propagate one's religion, and no discrimination on the basis of sex, among others.

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