Published On : Fri, Sep 28th, 2018

SC lifts ban on women entering Sabarimala

New Delhi: The Supreme Court in a majority verdict (4:1) has lifted the ban on the entry of women to Sabarimala.

Four judges have the same opinion in the Sabarimala temple case; one dissenting opinion by Justice Indu Malhotra.

CJI Dipak Misra said: Women no way inferior to men. On one hand, women are worshipped as goddesses, but there are restrictions on the other hand. Relationship with God can’t be defined by biological or physiological factors.

Sabarimala Temple practice violates rights of Hindu women: CJI

This is what the Chief Justice said in his judgment read on behalf of Justice Khanwilkar as well. Justice Nariman and Chandrachud will be delivering separate but judgments concurring with the CJI.

— Banning entry of women to the shrine is gender discrimination.

— Devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination.

— Religion is a way of life basically to link life with divinity.

— Sabarimala Temple practice violates rights of Hindu women.

— Patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion.

— Devotees of Ayyappa do not constitute a separate religious denomination.

— The bar on entry of women between age of 10 and 50 years is not an essential part of the religion.

Exclusion of women is violative of right to liberty, dignity and equality: Chandrachud

Justice Chandrachud reading out his judgment:

— The ban says presence of women deviates from celibacy. This is placing the burden of a men’s celibacy on women. It stigmatises them, stereotypes them.

— 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.

— Banning women of a particular age group is not essential practice of religion. Exclusion of women is violative of right to liberty, dignity and equality.

— Exclusion of women because she menstruates is utterly unconstitutional.

Justice Malhotra’s dissent: Shouldn’t interfere in religious sentiments :

Justice Indu Malhotra’s dissenting verdict. This is a 4:1 majority verdict, with all four justices concurring. She is the only woman judge in the five judge bench.

— Issues which have deep religious connotation should not be tinkered with to maintain secular atmosphere in the country.

— Religious practices can’t solely be tested on the basis of the right to equality.

— It’s up to the worshippers, not the court to decide what is the religion’s essential practice.

— Present judgement won’t be limited to Sabarimala, it will have wide ramifications.

— Issues of deep religious sentiments shouldn’t be ordinarily interfered into.