New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a plea filed by the Kerala unit of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha seeking directions allowing entry of Muslim women into the Mosques for offering prayers. It upheld the Kerala High Court order which had said that the PIL was "motivated" and used for "cheap publicity".
A bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose dismissed the appeal against the Kerala High Court order. "Who are you? How are you affected? Let the aggrieved persons come before us," the bench said.
When petitioner Swamy Dethathreya Sai Swaroop Nath, Kerala state president of the Akhil Bhartiya Hindu Mahasabha tried to answer court's question in Malayalam, the bench asked a counsel present in the court room to assist it by translating the language.
The counsel translated for the bench that Swamy was a petitioner and he has challenged a Kerala high court order of October 11, 2018.
To this, the bench said that Kerala High Court has noted in its order that media reports were there even before the PIL was taken up for hearing and it appears to be a "motivated" petition, apparently meant for "cheap publicity". "We do not see any merit to interfere with the high court order. The petition is dismissed," the bench said.
The high court, while dismissing the petition, had said: "The writ petition does not disclose material that would suggest that there is an established practice whereby Muslim women are being denied entry into masjids (Mosques).
"A petition alleging violation of fundamental rights must indicate the nature of the right that is allegedly breached, the factual components of such right, as also the action that resulted in its breach."
It said that the averments in the writ petition do not suggest that the petitioner was a person who should be ordinarily concerned with the rituals and practices of the Islamic religion and, in particular, the alleged denial of entry to Muslim women in Mosques.
The high court also noted that the PIL had attracted media attention as a report regarding filing of the petition had appeared in the print media even before the matter was taken up for admission before the Court. "We suspect therefore that this PIL is motivated by a desire of the petitioner for cheap publicity. We are of the view that the proceedings under Article 226 of the Constitution of India cannot be permitted to be misused for such purposes," the high court said.