The Haji Ali Dargah Trust has said that it has proposed ‘progressive steps’ that will be discussed when the Supreme Court hears the petition on the entry of women into the sanctum of the shrine.
Suhail Khandwani, trustee in the trust, said, “These are the trust’s views on what progressive steps can be taken,” said Khandwani, adding that the details cannot be revealed before the next hearing of the case as the case is sub-judice.
Khandwani added that they wanted to submit their points on Monday. “But the court had other important matters to hear and listed it for October 24,” said Khandwani.
“We have definitely thought about the matter but the modalities will be discussed in the court.”
The Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA) had filed a petition in the Bombay high court in August 2014 when women were stopped from entering the inner sanctum — which houses the tomb. They said that were no such restriction till 2011. In August, the high court asked the shrine to allow unrestricted entry to women, following which the dargah trust filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the HC order.
Groups campaigning for equal religious rights for women said that if the Haji Ali shrine is asked to stop discriminating against women it will set a precedent for others too. “We are happy that the matter went to the Supreme Court. What the court says will be applicable across the country,” said Feroze Mithiborwala of Muslims for Gender Justice and a member of the Haji Ali Sab Ke Liye Forum which was set up to support the petitioners.