No decision on Sabarimala Temple Entry for women, referred to constitution bench

No decision on Sabarimala Temple Entry for women, referred to constitution bench

The Supreme Court today referred the Sabarimala temple case to a five-judge Constitution bench.

The three-judge Bench had on February 20 reserved its judgment on the question of referring a batch of petitions challenging the temple's restriction to a Constitution Bench of five judges of the Supreme Court.

It will also examine whether the fundamental rights of women are being infringed upon by the imposition of a ban on the entry of women between the ages of 10 and 50 by the temple authorities.

This assumes significance as after coming to power, the CPM-led Left Front government has favoured the entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala temple - a position that is divergent from the one earlier taken by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government.

In January 2016, the Supreme Court had questioned the age-old tradition saying it can not be done under the Constitution.

More news: She's Gotta Have It

A Bench of Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R. Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan will pronounce the judgment on the reference.

On November 7 past year, the Kerala Government has announced in the court the women of all ages are permitted inside the historic Sabarimala temple. Unless you have a constitutional right, you can not prohibit entry. The Kerala High Court had upheld the Rules and allowed the Devaswom Board to enforce the ban. We understand the seriousness of issue.

Commenting on matter, an activist said that since last couple of months, we have seen that the Supreme Court is bringing out several progressive and landmark judgments; we are hoping that ruling on entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive. I am hoping that tomorrow also entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive.

The court is hearing a PIL filed in 2006 by non-profit body Indian Young Lawyers' Association, seeking entry for all women and girls to the Sabarimala shrine.

The question was whether women's right to equality before law guaranteed under Article 14 could be invoked in the face of the freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion guaranteed under Article 25 and Freedom to manage religious affairs guaranteed under Article 26 of the constitution.

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