SC refers case on women's entry in Sabarimala shrine to Constitution bench

Sabarimala temple

Sabarimala temple

The Supreme Court on Friday referred the much-debated issue as to whether women should be allowed to enter Sabarimala Sree Dharma Sastha Temple in Kerala's Pathanamthitta to a five-judge constitution bench.

The Constitution Bench will deal with questions whether this practice amounted to discrimination against the women. I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark."Another women right activist Saswati Ghosh also pinned her faith on the apex court's decision."I hope it will allow women to enter the temple otherwise we can not say it is secular country , As Reported By Siyasat".

As was usual for Buddhist monasteries in the middle ages, women were not allowed admission to a place inhabited exclusively by celibate monks.

The apex court had reserved the order on referring the case to a constitution bench in February.

The court was hearing a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) challenging the ban on women's entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the famed Sabarimala temple.

In 1991, a Kerala High Court Bench comprising of Justices K. Paripoornan and KB Marar had held that the restriction on young women by the Travancore Devaswom Board is not violative of the Constitution and nor was it violative of the provisions of the Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965. In November previous year, after the Left government took charge in Kerala, there was a U-turn by the state government from its earlier stance and the affidavit stated that it was ready to allow women of all ages to enter Sabarimala. It recently held that the practice of divorcing a woman by chanting "talaq, talaq, talaq" was illegal as it violated Muslim women's fundamental rights. "Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations..."

On November 7 a year ago, the Kerala government had informed the apex court that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the historic Sabarimala temple.

The temple authorities have justified the ban women wihin the 10-50 age bracket, saying it is an age-old practice founded in tradition.

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