The Supreme Court Friday asked the Haji Ali Dargah Trust to take a “progressive stand” against its practice of restricting women’s access to the inner sanctum of the shrine. “Try and take a stand which is progressive. Nothing regressive should be suggested,” said a bench led by Chief Justice of India T S Thakur as it posted the appeal filed by the trust against the Bombay High Court order on October 17.
The bench agreed to extend the interim stay on the High Court judgment till October 17 after the trust’s counsel Gopal Subramanium assured the court that they will come up with a concrete solution and take a progressive position.
During the hearing, Subramanium claimed there was no absolute prohibition on women’s entry and that their access was “slightly less than the men”. At this, the bench retorted: “If you are not allowing both men and women to go beyond a point, there is no problem. But if you are allowing men to go beyond a point while women are not allowed, it is a problem.”
The bench also observed that the issue regarding women’s entry was also being argued in relation to Kerala’s Sabarimala Temple case and that it seemed all religions had these problems.