SC refers Sabarimala to Constitution Bench

Sabarimala temple case Supreme Court refers matter to Constitution bench

Sabarimala temple case Supreme Court refers matter to Constitution bench

He also reiterated that women of menstruating age shouldn't be permitted to enter the temple premises.

The Supreme Court on Friday (October 13) referred the critical religious case of the entry into Kerala's Sabarimala Ayyappa Temple to a constitution bench.

The Constitutional Bench is also dealing with the question such practice of restricting the women to enter the temple is discrimination against women. If women are allowed in rush hours it will lead to many issues. Notifications which stipulate a ban of women from the age of 10 to 50 from entering the temple is contrary to the 1965 Kerala Temple Entry Act as well as the Constitution. The court, in January 2016, had questioned the ban and claimed that it couldn't be allowed under the Constitution.

It was argued that such a restriction is contrary to the letter and spirit of the constitution as enshrined under Articles 25 and 26.

Devaswom Minister Kadakampally Surendran has accused TDB president Prayar Gopalakrishnan of defaming women and Ayyappa devotees by comparing Sabarimala with Thailand. Laws should not abuse the basic rights cherished in the Indian Constitution.

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The earlier UDF government's affidavit before the Supreme Court had supported the temple's tradition that the deity's form is that of a Naisthak Bramhachari who observes celibacy and therefore, young women should not worship in the temple. Mr. Gopalakrishnan said women with dignity would not visit Sabarimala.

Is this prohibition by the religious body valid under the purview of religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution?

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.

"And if so, would it not play foul of Articles 14 and 15 (3) of the Constitution by restricting entry of women on the ground of sex", it said.

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