Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Verdict On Ban On Women's Entry In Sabarimala Temple Today

Verdict On Ban On Women's Entry In Sabarimala Temple Today

The Supreme Court is all set to pronounce its verdict on whether to refer the matters related to the ban on entry of women aged between 10 to 50 years at Kerala's Sabarimala temple to its Constitution bench or not on Friday.

The Supreme Court had in July 2016 indicated that it may refer the question - whether the constitutional right to equality of a woman could be raised to "interfere" with the religious beliefs and customs denying entry to women in Sabarimala temple - to its constitution bench.

Summary: The temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district, restricts women aged between 10 and 50 from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala Temple. However, In January 2016, the court had questioned the ban, saying it can not be done under the Constitution. The matter had been listed for an order in the court of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.

The management of the temple had stated that ban on entry of women was because they can not maintain "purity" on account of menstruation. The said ban has statutory backing in the form of Rule 3 (b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965. A 1991 Kerala High Court judgment supports the restriction imposed on women devotees. Unless you have a constitutional right, you can not prohibit entry.

The management of the Sabarimala temple had told the apex court that it had banned the entry of women because they can't maintain their "pureness" on account of menstruation. Meanwhile, the apex court had asked all the parties to submit their submissions. The court had said that "gender discrimination in such a matter is unacceptable".

Meanwhile, women's rights activists are hoping for a positive judgment today.

The petitioners also includes the Travancore Devasom Board that manages the temple and women's organisations, The Indian Express reported. It recently held that the practice of divorcing a woman by chanting "talaq, talaq, talaq" was illegal as it violated Muslim women's fundamental rights. "I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark".

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