Now women can also worship in Sabrimala Temple:SC






NC Network
The Supreme Court on  Friday gave a historic judgement and paved the way for entry of women of all ages into the Ayyappa temple at Sabarimala in Kerala.
The five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra, in its 4:1 verdict, said that the banning the entry of women into the shrine is gender discrimination and the practice violates rights of the  women.The Chief Justice, said religion is a way of life basically to link life with divinity.
While Justices R F Nariman and D Y Chandrachudd  concurred with the Chief Justice  and Justice A M Khanwilkar, Justice Indu Malhotra gave a dissenting verdict.Justice Malhotra, the lone woman judge in the bench, passed the  judgement and said that issues which have deep religious intimations  should not be mend  with to maintain secular atmosphere in the country.

Justice Malhotra said, right to equality conflicts with right to worship of devotees.She said the issue in this case is not limited to Sabarimala only. It will have far reaching implications for other places of worships too.

The court passed four sets of separate judgements, on a clutch of pleas, challenging the ban on the entry of women of menstrual age in  Sabrimala temple saying law and society are tasked with the task to act as levellers.Chief Justice  said, devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination and a particular group of society, cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.He said devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not constitute a separate denomination.
The CJI said, practice of exclusion of women of 10-50 age group cannot be regarded as essential religious practice and Kerala law denies rights to women on ground of physiological reasons.Justice Nariman said the Sabarimala temple custom barring women of 10-50 age is not backed by Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution.

Custom of barring women is violative of Article 25 (Clause 1) and Rule 3(b) of Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (authorisation of entry) Rules, 1965 is struck down by Justice Nariman.Justice Chandrachudd said, religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity.He said prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries.

Devotees of lord Ayyappa do not form separate religious denominations, Justice Chandrachud said and added, that any custom or religious practice, if violates dignity of women by denying their entry due to  physiology is unconstitutional.
He said, the popular notion about morality can be offensive to dignity of others, and exclusion of women because she menstruates is utterly unconstitutional.

Justice Chandrachud held that exclusion of women is violative of right of  liberty, dignity and equality and said barring women of a particular age group is not essential practice of religion.Justice Malhotra said, notions of rationality cannot be brought into matters of religion, and India has diverse religious practices and constitutional morality would allow anyone to profess a religion they believe.


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