SC reserves judgement on Sabrimala pleas

SC reserves judgement on Sabrimala pleas

The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its judgement on a batch of PILs challenging ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age to Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

A five-judge bench Constitution bench presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra wrapped up the eight-day long hearing in the matter by giving parties seven days time to file written submissions.

The Kerala government, in its contention, maintained the custom was not permissible under the Constitution and even celibate status of deity cannot be a ground for barring entry of women as it is a Hindu temple and not a temple of a particular denomination.

In rejoinder arguments, senior advocate Jaideep Gupta, appearing for Kerala government, said, “our Constitution is organic and reformist and if we keep going back to the period of holy antiquity then there wont be any reforms.”

He said there was no need to strike down Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 (which bars women from entering the temple).

"The Rule can be read in such a manner to the effect that women cannot be excluded," he said.

Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for intervenors, contended said the court had always struck down laws, customs, practices or tradition which prevented Harijans from going to temple.

“Similarly, now the court can struck down such laws, practies or customs which deny women the right to enter temple,” she said.

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