The Supreme Court on Wednesday, 18 July, continued its hearing on the pleas challenging the ban on the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Kerala's Sabarimala temple, with the Chief Justice of India (CJI) observing that the denial of entry is "against the Constitutional mandate".
"On what basis (do) you (the temple authorities) deny the entry. It is against the Constitutional mandate. Once you open it for public, anybody can go... Where a man can enter, a woman can go. What applies to a man, applies to a woman," observed CJI Dipak Misra.
The Constitution bench, comprising CJI Misra, Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman, Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice Indu Malhotra, is addressing five “significant” questions that were framed by a three-judge bench while referring the matter on 13 October 2017. Among the questions is whether the practice of banning entry of women in the temple amounted to discrimination and violated their fundamental rights under the Constitution.
On Wednesday, Justice Chandrachud observed that a woman's right to pray is "equal to that of a man and it is not dependent on a law to enable you (woman) to do that... Every woman is also the creation of God and why should there be discrimination against them in employment or worship".
State Govt Changes Stand Again, Supports Women's Entry
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has changed its stand again on the issue, with Kerala Minister for Co-Operation, Tourism and Devaswom, Kadakampally Surendran, saying that the "state government's stand is that women should be allowed to offer prayers in the Sabarimala temple".
"We’ve filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court explaining our stand. Now, it has to take a decision. We’re bound to obey its verdict. Devaswom board now has the same opinion as the government." - Kadakampally Surendran, Minister, Kerala Government . Read more on India by The Quint.SBI Clerk Prelims 2018 Result Expected Soon, Here’s How to CheckBarring Women From Sabarimala Against Constitutional Mandate: CJI . Read more on India by The Quint.