Medicine

Sabarimala temple case: SC refers matter to Constitution bench

Sabarimala temple case: SC refers matter to Constitution bench

Talking to reporters in Aluva, Devaswom minister Kadakampally Surendran has said that he heartily welcomes the Supreme Court's ruling referring a five-member Constitution Bench to consider the petition relating to entry of women in Sabarimala.

A bench comprising Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra and Justices R Banumathi and Ashok Bhushan passed the order. The Sabarimala temple restricts women aged between 10 to 50 years from taking the journey to Sabarimala - which implies women are prohibited from making the hard trek to the place of worship.

The women aged between 10 and 50 are not allowed from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple.

Senior counsel Jaideep Gupta had told the court that the Kerala government "supports the proposition that women of any age group should be permitted to enter the Sabarimala temple".

The court is hearing a plea challenging the practice of banning entry of such women in the temple.

Matters that related to fundamental rights contained in the Constitution of India are decided by specially empowered benches known as constitutional benches. According to him, banning entry of women would be against the basic tenets of Hindu religion. Otherwise, we can not say it [India] is secular country.

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In July, it had said that "a temple is a public religious place".

The question that has been raised is: Does this ban on admission to the temple, on the basis of medical reasons of the woman violate the rights of equality?

Meanwhile, women's rights activists are hoping for a positive judgment today.

The temple authorities have justified the restriction ladies within the 10-50 age group, saying it is a firm practice established in convention. Being a temple with unique customs and practices, Sabarimala should be allowed to retain its ethnic character, " said TDB member Ajay Tharayil.

Whether Rule 3 (b) of Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorization of Entry) Rules, 1965 is ultra vires the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965 and, if treated to be intra vires, whether it will be violative of the provisions of Part III of the Constitution?