Women right activists hopeful for landmark judgment in Sabarimala Temple case

13 October, 2017, 13:28 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • The court is hearing a PIL filed in 2006 by non-profit body Indian Young Lawyers’ Association seeking entry for all women and girls to the Sabarimala shrine

The top court has also raised six questions on the issue that it wants the constitution bench to consider.

The Supreme Court has referred to five-judge constitution bench on the women's entry in Sabarimala temple on restriction of age 10 to age 50 in the temple.

As per current practice, the temple doesn't allow entry to any woman who has attained puberty. Earlier this year in February, the apex court reserved an order while referring the case to a Constitution bench.

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.

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The temple, built in the 12th century, is located in Pathanamthitta district and is dedicated to Lord Ayappa.

Despite this, Sabarimala remains different from many traditional temples as it never observed caste distinctions, even as most temples in Kerala restricted entry to those belonging to the four varnas of Vedic Hinduism.

The larger Bench will choose whether the restriction on ladies to enter the sanctuary qualifies as a "essential religious practice" of the Hindu faith over which the summit court has no ward.

Meanwhile, women's rights activists are hoping for a positive judgment today.

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"In the last couple of months, we have been seeing that the Supreme Court is bringing out several progressive and landmark judgments". Otherwise, we can not say it [India] is secular country. This violates the rights of the women. "I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark".

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.

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

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