NEW DELHI: Hearing on a petition seeking the entry of women into Kerala's Sabarimala temple will resume on April 22 in the Supreme Court, which had on Wednesday said that denying women the right to enter and pray in the historic shrine violated constitutional principle.
A three-judge bench comprising of Justices Dipak Misra, V Gopala Gowda and Kurian Joseph, had said that denying entry to women based on traditions are against the principles of the Constitution. The bench also said that the case could be referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench in case substantial questions of constitutional importance arise in future.
The apex court had earlier sought to examine previous judgments on entry of women in religious places, while underlining that any religious practice banning their entry will have to necessarily pass the test of constitutionality.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by the 'Indian Young Lawyers' Association', seeking entry of women in the Sabarimala temple.
The hearing came close on the heels of the Bombay High Court order directing Maharashtra Government to ensure that women are not denied entry at any temple.
Defending the ban, the Sabarimala temple administration earlier said the tradition is connected to essential religious practice.
Supporting them, the Kerala Government told the court that beliefs and customs of devotees cannot be changed through a judicial process and that the opinion of the priests is final in matters of religion.