Published On : Fri, Apr 1st, 2016

Shani temple row: Will not allow gender discrimination at religious places, Maharashtra govt tells Bombay HC

Mumbai/Nagpur: In a victory of sorts for women seeking entry inside temples, on Friday the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court that it is against gender discrimination and will strictly implement provisions of Maharashtra Hindu Place of Worship (Entry Authorisation) Act.

The state government stated that it will issue circulars informing superintendent of police and district collectors to strictly implement provisions under the Act.

The state also said that it will not allow any kind of gender discrimination at religious places but stated that if men are not allowed inside the inner sanctorum of the temple then the same rule will be applicable for women.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) by senior advocate Nilima Vartak and activist Vidya Bal, challenging the prohibition of entry of women in the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra.

The petition seeks the entry of women not just into the temple, but also inside its sanctum sanctorum. The petition says that the prohibition is arbitrary, illegal and in violation of fundamental rights of citizens.