With the Haji Ali Dargah Trust approaching the Supreme Court, challenging the Bombay High Court decision to allow women in the internal portion of the dargah, Bhumata Brigade leader Trupti Desai on Tuesday expressed confidence in the apex court to come through for women’s equality. Desai asserted that the top court will pronounce a decision respecting the High Court’s decision and will pronounce a verdict supporting the rights of women. “I am not really worried as I’m sure the Constitution will emerge victorious again and women will win here as well,” Desai said.
On August 26, the Bombay High Court lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the inner sanctum of Mumbai’s Haji Ali Dargah Noorjehan Fiaz and Zakia Soman, founders of Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), had petitioned the Bombay High Court against the ban calling it unconstitutional.
The 2011 ban violates the women’s right to freedom of religion enshrined in Article 25 of the constitution. The PIL stated that gender justice is inherent in the Quran, and there is no prohibition on women visiting graves.
Prior to 2011, the Dargah did not discriminate against women and allowed free entry of people across religions. On March 2011, the Dargah’s board of trustees imposed a ban on women’s entry, calling it a “grievous sin”. It is a sin as per Islam for women to be in close proximity of a male Muslim saint’s grave.
On Jul 10, 2015, Bench headed by Justice VM Kanade sets aside previous order framing eight questions by an earlier bench of HC on maintainability and decided to hear PIL on merits.
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