NEW DELHI: Welcoming the Supreme Court's decision to refer to a larger bench the issue of women's entry to Sabarimala, the RSS on Thursday said restriction of women to the temple has nothing to do with gender inequality or discrimination and asserted that matters related to traditions and customs are issues of faith and belief.
In a 3:2 verdict, the Supreme Court referred to a seven-judge bench the pleas seeking review of its historic 2018 judgement allowing women and girls of all ages to enter the Sabarimala temple, set to open on November 17.
"Matters related to traditions and customs are issues of faith and belief. Restriction of women belonging to a particular age-group to the Sabarimala shrine has nothing to with gender inequality or discrimination, and that is strictly based on the speciality of the deity," RSS Akhil Bharatiya Prachar Pramukh Arun Kumar said in a statement.
Sangh welcomes the Supreme Court decision to accept the review petition and refer the matter to a larger constitutional bench, he said.
"We are of the firm view that the judicial review under whatever pretext in the matter will be violative of the spirit of the freedom of worship guaranteed by our Constitution.
And the opinion of concerned authorities should be given paramount consideration in such matters," he said.
The majority view, delineated by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi in its nine-page verdict, was not agreed to by justices R F Nariman and D Y Chandrachud.
Terming the denial of entry to "unarmed women" into the Sabarimala temple as a "sad spectacle", Justice Nariman, who penned the minority verdict held that enforcement of Supreme Court 2018 order is "non-negotiable" and no person or authority can flout it.