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Sabarimala Temple issue referred to SC constitution bench
14 October 2017, 12:48 | Violet Powell
The temple authorities are restricting entry of women citing tradition.
In 1991, a Kerala High Court Bench comprising of Justices K. Paripoornan and KB Marar had held that the restriction on young women by the Travancore Devaswom Board is not violative of the Constitution and nor was it violative of the provisions of the Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965.
The CPM-led Left Front government in 2007 had filed an affidavit saying that it favoured entry of women in the temple but this position was reversed in an affidavit filed by the Congress-led UDF government in February 2016. It said for several centuries, it has been a practice in the temple located in a forest-notified area to restrict the entry of women who are in the age group of 10-50 years as the deity did not want his penance to be disturbed.
When the lord himself says don't allow access to women in the age of 10 and 50, how can the court go into that question.
The bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan had earlier reserved its verdict on referring the case to a constitution bench.
The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a five-judge Constitution Bench a bunch of petitions challenging the age-old practice in Kerala's famed Sabarimala temple of not allowing women aged between 10 and 50 to enter the temple. You can not refuse entry to a woman who comes there ...
A hope for a positive and landmark judgment in the matter was expressed by women right activist on Friday. Otherwise, we can not say it [India] is secular country.
The question that has been raised is: Does this ban on admission to the temple, on the basis of medical reasons of the woman violate the rights of equality?
Is this prohibition by the religious body valid under the purview of religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution? "Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations...", the apex court had said challenging the ban.
In 2008, the LDF government had filed an affidavit before the apex court supporting the entry of women of all age groups to Sabarimala, which bars women of menstruating age.
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