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Supreme Court lifts Sabarimala temple ban on women: Here’s what the judges said

The Supreme Court Friday allowed entry of women of all ages into the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala.

india Updated: Sep 28, 2018 14:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
sabrimala temple case,sabrimala temple case verdict,sabrimala temple case judgement
Supreme Court is pictured through a gate in New Delhi.(REUTERS)

Four of the five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra upheld a plea to allow women of all ages to worship at the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.

CJI Misra who wrote the verdict for himself and Justice AM Khanwilkar said, “Dualistic approach in religions results in lowering dignity of women....The rule violates the right of woman to worship and practise religion.”

He went on to say, “Practice of exclusion of women of 10-50 age group cannot be regarded as essential religious practice.”

“Rule has to be in harmony with Constitution,” the CJI added.

Justice Rohington Fali Nariman said, “Women are equally entitled to the right to practice religion.”

CJI Misra, Justice Khanwilakr and Justice Nariman were backed by Justice D Y Chandrachud.

“Article 25 of the Constitution protects the equal entitlement on all persons to freely practice religion,” Justice Chandrachud said.

“Social exclusion of women on ground of menstruation is a form of untouchability which is anathema of Constitutional values,” he said.

Justice Indu Malhotra was the only judge to dissent in the 4:1 verdict.

“Equality in matters of religion must be viewed in the context of the worshippers of the same faith,” Justice Malhotra said.

She said court should not determine practices of faith.

“It is not for the court to determine which practices of faith are to be struck down except when they are evil, for example sati.”

She also said, “Grievances raised are non-justiciable.”

First Published: Sep 28, 2018 13:09 IST