New Delhi: Citing the Constitution Bench verdict in Sabarimala temple case, the Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine the petition by a Pune-based Muslim couple, seeking a direction to allow women to enter mosques without any restriction to offer prayers.
A bench headed by Justice SA Bobde observed that since there is a judgment in Sabarimala, the court will have to examine this fresh petition as well. It questioned the petitioner's lawyer whether fundamental rights can be asserted against individuals and non-State subjects as well.
“Is a mosque or a temple or a church State? Can you seek your fundamental right against individuals? When entity concerned is not a State, can we issue directions? Can we ask police to help you if you want to enter somebody's house?” questioned the bench.
It further stated that since the top court has entertained such a plea in the Sabarimala case, the present case will deserve a consideration too. It issued notices to the Centre, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, Central Wakf Council etc and sought their replies in four weeks.
Yasmeen and Zuber Ahmad Peerzade, in their joint plea, have said: "The act of prohibition of females from entering mosque is void and unconstitutional as such practices are not only repugnant to the basic dignity of a woman as an individual but also violate the fundamental rights guaranteed under Articles 14, 15, 21 and 25 of the Constitution."
The couple added that there were no records stating that the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women's entry to mosques to offer prayers. Like men, women also have the constitutional rights to offer worship according to their belief, they said.
At present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction, they contended. Alleging discrimination, the petition stated that some of the mosques where women are allowed, there are separate entrances and enclosures for worship for men and women.