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Religion cannot become a cover to exclude, Sabarimala is for women too, rules Supreme Court

The only judge who dissented on the five-judge constitution bench was Justice Indu Malhotra, who says that issues raised have serious implications for all religions.

Published: 28th September 2018 11:24 AM  |   Last Updated: 28th September 2018 06:09 PM   |  A+A-

Sabarimala temple

Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa temple (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed women of all ages can enter the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. By this ruling, the court had ended an age-old ban on the entry of women between 10 and 50 years.

READ | Highlights of Supreme Court ruling on entry of women inside Sabarimala

"The practice of age restriction on women entry to Sabrimala temple can't be treated as an essential religious practice," the five judge constitution bench said in a majority four-one judgement.

The only judge who dissented on the five-judge constitution bench was Justice Indu Malhotra, who says that issues raised have serious implications for all religions. She said issues which have deep religious connotation should not be tinkered with to maintain secular atmosphere in the country.

She says the right to equality claimed by some conflicts with the right to follow a religious practice, again a fundamental right, and rejects plea for entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala.

READ | Indian temples where men can't enter on certain days

CJI said devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion. He said the devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not constitute a separate denomination.

Justice Chandrachud said any custom or religious practice if violates the dignity of women by denying them entry because of her physiology is unconstitutional. To treat women as children of lesser god is unconstitutional.

Agreeing with the majority judgement, Justice Nariman said Sabarimala Temple custom of barring women in age 10-50 years is not backed by Article 26 of the Constitution.

The temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, is one of the most famous temples in Kerala. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) manages the temple.

The order came on a PIL filed by Indian Lawyers Association seeking the entry of all women and girls to the temple dedicated to Lord Ayyappan.



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  • Poda De

    Hail the Indian Supreme Court for giving Women their rightful status of Dignity & Equality & Justice ! God's Non-discrimination between Genders is Upheld !
    2 years ago reply
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