Supreme Court order on entry of women in Sabarimala temple likely today

A host of applications have been filed in the matter by various groups. While women activists have termed the practice discriminatory, other sections say it has to do with complex ritualistic practices of sanatana dharma of temples in south India.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: October 13, 2017 2:41 am
sabrimala, sabrimala temple, sabrimala temple entry of women, sabrimala entry of women, sabrimala temple women, supreme court, sc, sabrimala sc, sabrimala case, sabrimala issue supreme court, kerala news, kerala sabrimala temple, indian express, india news The Supreme Court reserved its order in the matter in February this year and asked the parties to file written submissions which should fall under the Constitutional framework that is likely to be referred to the larger bench.

The Supreme Court is likely to pronounce on Friday its verdict on the question of referring the case of restrictions on entry of women in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala to a Constitution bench.

The matter has been listed for judgment in the court of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan.

The court is seized of a petition filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association that challenged the custom of the temple to bar entry of women in the 10-50 age bracket (of menstruating age), saying it was discriminatory. The Kerala High Court had upheld the custom in 1991.

The Supreme Court reserved its order in the matter in February this year and asked the parties to file written submissions which should fall under the Constitutional framework that is likely to be referred to the larger bench.

Senior Counsel K K Venugopal who appeared for Travancore Devasom Board — that manages the hill shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa — had told the court that the issue was complex and involved substantive interpretation of the Constitution under Article 145(3). Under this provision, the minimum number of judges required for answering a reference is five.

He contended that this would require interpretation of Article 26, which deals with the rights of a religious denomination, and Article 25, that guarantees freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion. The discrimination, if any, in the shrine was not between men and women but between women and women. He argued that the matter had already been settled by the HC and so the principle of res judicata would apply.

The state’s LDF government had in 2007 favoured the entry of all age groups of women into the shrine, but the UDF government later opposed this. The LDF, which came back to power in 2016, has returned to its old stand favouring entry.

A host of applications have been filed in the matter by various groups. While women activists have termed the practice discriminatory, other sections say it has to do with complex ritualistic practices of sanatana dharma of temples in south India.

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  1. Lalit Das
    Oct 14, 2017 at 12:52 pm
    Judicicary is based on rationalism within the narrow confines of the law. Any judjement will be within these narrow boundaries. The world of,,, knowledge understanding emotions and culture is much larger. Cultural changes should happen through cultural means. In matters of culture the judicary should only give its view and not dictate. Opinion of all learned people is respected by any culture and gives direction to change. Cultural change should be evolutionary . Not revotionary. Not forced by law. My humble advise to the honorable learned bench and to the judiciary at large. This is my advise in all matters pertaining to age old cultural practices. Then when things go wrong we leave it to the government to provide for through an a legeslative act.
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    1. Sudheer Thaakur
      Oct 14, 2017 at 1:43 am
      it is a grave error to draw equivalence between islamic concept of allah or christian god or his son christ and hindy deity. those are universal in appeal but deity appeals only who follow his/her rules and regimes. sabrimalai is a deity who is brahmachari and his followers accept his code and philosophy. how can a mensturating woman follow him? not possible. next hindu temples are not buildings or places for worship. a temple is abode of a particular incarnation. a person -he or she. and becomes his or her abode only after pran pratishtha. it si then a private abode , a private property. and like any owner of property has every right to define rules of entry.
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        Anshuman
        Oct 13, 2017 at 4:44 pm
        Lord Ayappa is Brahmchari. The Deity in this form would refrain from contacting women with reproductive capability , as simple as that. It's like you want to forcibly make a celibate Monk or Nun to mingle with opposite , when they do not want to do so. There are temples where only women are allowed too. It has nothing to do with discrimination based on . But the premise of Brahmchari, which can loosely be translated as Celibacy. Hope that clarifies the matter.
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        1. S
          satish
          Oct 13, 2017 at 3:07 am
          Good lerning news paper
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