Five judges to decide on Hindu women's right to temple


RP Gupta, the counsel for the petitioners, submitted in court that there is no religious custom or usage in the Hindu religion specially in Pampa river region to disallow women during menstrual period.

The Travancore Dewaswom Board that manages Sabarimala Ayyappa temple justified the restriction on the entry of women on the grounds that the deity, Lord Ayyapa, is a "Naisthik Brahmachari" (celibate) and said that 1,000-year-old custom and religious practice can not be interfered with.

The Kerala Government has already informed the court that it favours the entry of women of any age into Sabarimala temple.

Challenging the ban on women's entry in Sabarimala temple in Kerala, the Supreme court will deliver is verdict on the petitions on Friday.

As was usual for Buddhist monasteries in the middle ages, women were not allowed admission to a place inhabited exclusively by celibate monks.

The Constitution Bench will now be looking into several women rights claims regarding the matter, especially the women's fundamental right of freedom to pray at their place of choice. It said Article 25 of the constitution gives the temple the right to manage its own affairs.

The court is hearing a public interest litigation filed in 2006 by non-profit body Indian Young Lawyers' Association, seeking entry for all women and girls to the Sabarimala shrine. You can not refuse entry to a woman who comes there ...

Surendran said the government wholeheartedly welcomed the SC decision. The centuries-old practice, was questioned by the court, in January 2016.

It is being asked: Can this practice in religious institutions be allowed to stop women? It violates the rights of women. Article 15 of the Constitution places a clear constitutional obligation on the state to not discriminate against any citizen on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth. The Constitution Bench will decide whether Ayyappa devotees frame a different religious category by themselves.

The UDF government had taken a view that it was against the entry of women of the age group of 10-50 years as such a practice was being followed since time immemorial.