Supreme Court, is expected to pronounce its judgement on a batch of PILs challenging ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age to Kerala’s Sabarimala temple today.
A Constitution bench of five judges presided over by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had on August 1 wrapped up the eight-day-long hearing in the matter in the petition filed by Indian Young Lawyers Association and others.
The Kerala government, in its contention, maintained that the custom of barring entry to menstruating women into a temple was not permissible under the Constitution, and that even the celibate status of the deity cannot be a ground for barring entry to women, as it is a Hindu temple and not a temple of a particular denomination.
It said that the Constitution was organic and reformist, and if we kept going back to the period of holy antiquity, there will not be any reform.
The state government said that there was no need to strike down Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965 (which bars women from entering the temple).
“The Rule can be read in such a manner to the effect that women cannot be excluded,” it said.
Senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for the intervenors, had contended that the court had always struck down laws, customs, practices or traditions which prevented Harijans from going to temple.
“Similarly, now the court can strike down such laws, practices or customs which deny women the right to enter a temple,” she said.>