Monday, 23 October, 2017

Sabarimala entry-ban to go to Constitution bench? Order today

Sabarimala temple Sabarimala temple
Bennie Garza | 13 October, 2017, 11:50

However, the court has now referred the case to a Constitutional bench of the SC, to decide whether temple entry is a fundamental right.

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

As per reports, the matter will be listed before the 5-judge constitution bench soon and the final verdict on whether women aged between 10 and 50 years can enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temple will be delivered within three to four weeks. Women, aged between 10 and 50, are restricted to take a Sabarimala pilgrimage.

In January 2016, the Supreme Court had questioned the age-old tradition saying it can not be done under the Constitution.

The bench comprised of Dipak Misra, R Banumathi, and Ashok Bhushan had earlier requested to submit the things that need to be presented at the Constitutional Bench. You can not refuse entry to a woman who comes there. The Kerala High Court had upheld the custom in 1991.

Sabarimala, one of Kerala's most renowned temples which has Lord Ayappa as the presiding deity, does not allow menstruating women to enter the temple. It said that this can not be done under the Constitution.

The temple's restriction on menstruating women has been a bone of contention in recent times, raising legal questions about women's right to pray and right to equality, as guaranteed by the Constitution of India.Article 14 of the Constitution of India guarantees that the state can not deny any person equality before the law or equal protection of the law.

"A temple is a public religious place. Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations...", the apex court had said challenging the ban. The court had said that "gender discrimination in such a matter is unacceptable". The bench will also rule on whether Sabarimala devotees form a separate religious denomination, and whether the temple, managed by the Travancore Devoswom Board, can "indulge" in a ban on women and girls inside the temple, in the name of 'morality'. "I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark", activist Brinda Adige was quoted as saying by Indian Today.

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