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News18 » India
1-min read

Should Sabarimala Temple Open Its Doors to Women? Supreme Court to Decide Today

Earlier in July, the apex court had said a woman’s right to pray is equal to that of a man as enshrined in the Constitution and forming a law cannot negate that.

News18.com

Updated:September 28, 2018, 7:17 AM IST
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Should Sabarimala Temple Open Its Doors to Women? Supreme Court to Decide Today
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court will on Friday announce its verdict on a batch of petitions seeking the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 into Kerala’s Sabarimala temple.

The five-judge bench of the court, headed by CJI Dipak Misra, had in August reserved its verdict on the pleas challenging the age-old practice.

Earlier in July, the apex court had said a woman’s right to pray is equal to that of a man as enshrined in the Constitution and forming a law cannot negate that.

"On what basis you (temple authorities) deny the entry. It is against the Constitutional mandate. Once you open it for public, anybody can go," CJI Misra had said.

He said if the temple has allowed men to enter, then it must allow women to enter too. "There is no concept of a private temple. If there is a temple then it is a public place and everyone is allowed to go there. If men can go there then women can also go," he said during the hearing.

The Kerala government, which has been changing its stand on the contentious issue of women of a particular age group entering the Sabarimala temple, had on July 18 told the Supreme Court that it now favours their entry

The Supreme Court had in October last year formed the constitution bench to hear the case and it will decide four significant questions, primary among which is whether the ban amounts to discrimination against women.

The petitioner — the Indian Young Lawyers Association — has challenged the 800-year-old practice of prohibiting the entry of women into the famed Lord Ayyappan Temple.

The PIL has sought direction to the Kerala government, the Travancore Devaswom Board, Chief Thanthri (priest) of Sabarimala Temple and the District Magistrate of Pathanamthitta to ensure entry of female devotees between the age group of 10-50.

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