Can women enter Sabarimala temple? SC's landmark verdict

Can women enter Sabarimala temple? SC's landmark verdict

"I can not see it as a big change because it is never said that women are not allowed into Sabarimala but there are age restrictions".

Chief Justice of India Dipak Mishra, while reading the judgement said that Law and Society are tasked with the responsibility of acting as equalizers and devotion can not be subjected to discrimination. "The ban "exacts" more purity from women than men". No physiological & biological factor can be given legitimacy if it doesn't pass the test of conditionality.

The Rule was assailed on the ground of violation of Right to equality and discrimination on the basis of gender. While Justices Chandrachud and Nariman wrote a concurring judgment.

"All forms of exclusion would not tantamount to untouchability".

The petitioner who argued against women's entry in the case, Rahul Eshwar, said he did not rule out the verdict creating a law and order situation in Kerala. Individual dignity of women could not be at the mercy of a mob.

The Bench told the parties "we will deliver a judgment and refer the matter to a Constitution Bench" and reserved its judgment on the issue of whether the matter should be referred to Constitution Bench or not. On the one hand, women are worshipped as goddesses, but there are restrictions on the other hand.

The CJI and Justice Khanwilkar held that the Rule violated the fundamental right of a Hindu woman to offer worship at a place of her choice.

Justice Malhotra also said that Lord Ayyappa devotees formed a separate religious denomination and were worthy of protection.

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Justice Rohinton Nariman held that Ayyappa devotees do not form a separate denomination just due to their devotion to Lord Ayyappa, but it was only a part of Hindu worship.

The bench passed four sets of separate judgements. "It has to be adjudged amongst the worshippers of a particular religion or shrine, who are aggrieved by certain practices which are found to be oppressive or pernicious". "Issues of deep religious sentiments shouldn't be ordinarily interfered into".

The petition challenging the ban was filed in the Apex Court by Indian Young Lawyers Association over a decade ago in 2006, alleging that the rule violates the freedom to follow and propagate religion, listed in Article 25 of the Indian Constitution.

Justice Indu Malhotra says it is not for courts to determine which of these practises of a faith are to be struck down, except if they are oppressive. Sabarimala Temple is run by the Devaswom Board.

The CJI said religion is a way of life basically to link life with divinity. He submitted that it was also physiologically impossible for women to observe the 41-day penance before the pilgrimage.

However, the Kerala government reaffirmed its complete support for lifting the prohibition.

While the Kerala government had opposed the entry of women in 2016, it told the Supreme Court at the hearing this year that it was in favour of allowing women to pray at the temple.

The Logical Indian community welcomes the decision of the Supreme Court.

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