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Victory For Women, Supreme Court Allows Entry Of Women Of All Ages In Kerala's Sabarimala Temple

DIVYIA ASTHANA | 1
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| September 28 , 2018 , 11:09 IST

In a major victory for women, the Supreme Court on Friday announced its verdict on the Sabarimala Temple case, allowing women of all ages to enter the temple located in Pathanamthitta District, Perunad grama panchayat in Kerala.

A batch of petitions had been filed by a group of five lawyers who challenged the restriction on women “of menstruating age” to enter the Sabarimala Temple. Senior Advocate Indira Jaising, representing the petitioners had argued that the restrictions went against Articles 14, 15 and 17 of the Constitution, were discriminatory in nature and denounced women.

ALSO READ: What Is The Sabarimala Temple Case?

The case was heard by a five-judge constitutional bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justice RF Nariman, Justice Khanwilkar , Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra. While 4 judges had the same opinion, 1 dissenting opinion was voiced by Justice Indu Malhotra.

CJI Dipak Misra reading out the verdict said, "Women no way inferior to men. On one hand, women are worshipped as Goddesses, but there are restrictions on the other hand. Relationship with God can't be defined by biological or physiological factors."

"Devotees of Lord Ayyappa are Hindus, don't constitute a separate religious denomination. No physiological and biological factor can be given legitimacy if it doesn't pass the test of conditionality. Restrictions put by Sabarimala temple can't be held as essential religious practice," he said. 

"The practice of barring women in age group of 10-50 to go inside the temple is violative of constitutional principles," the Chief Justice said.

"Right to worship is given to all devotees and there can be no discrimination on the basis of gender," said CJI Misra.