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SC to pronounce order on ban on women's entry in Sabarimala temple

SC to pronounce order on ban on women's entry in Sabarimala temple

The Supreme Court on Friday referred the pleas on allowing women - aged between 10 to 50 years -to enter into Kerala's Sabarimala temple to a constitutional bench.

The Constitutional bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra who framed several questions such as can a temple restrict the entry of women and the case will be dealt with the question whether restricting the entry of women into the temple is violating the rights under the constitution. The apex court has been hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the ban on entry of women into the Sabarimala Hill Temple.

The UDF government had taken a view that it was against the entry of women of the age group of 10-to-50 years as such a practice was being followed since time immemorial.

Subsequently, when the case had come up for hearing in January 2016, the UDF government, which was in power re-considered the earlier stance, and filed an affidavit changing its position on the issue and supporting the ban.

The entry of women in the temple has always been a topic of debate. Venogopal told the court that it was a question of religious diversity and mentioned the name of Attukal Bhagavathy Temple in Kerala where men are not allowed.

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LDF govt in 2007 filed an affidavit, saying it favoured entry of women in the temple.

In July, it had said that "a temple is a public religious place". It said that this can not be done under the Constitution.

Questioning the age-old custom, the Supreme Court in July had said, "A temple is a public religious place and can not refuse entry to a woman". I am hoping that tomorrow also entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive. "I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark".

The question was whether women's right to equality before law guaranteed under Article 14 could be invoked in the face of the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion guaranteed under Article 25 and Freedom to manage religious affairs guaranteed under Article 26 of the constitution.


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