The Supreme Court on Friday referred to a five-judge Constitution bench the matter pertaining to a ban on the entry of women at Kerala’s Sabarimala temple. A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan passed the order.
A petition was filed in the Supreme Court by the Indian Young Lawyers Association challenging 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.
In February this year, the Supreme Court reserved its order in the matter and asked the concerned parties to file a written submission which should fall under the Constitutional framework.
In Kerala, 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.