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In Sabarimala Temple row, SC observes women’s right to pray


The Supreme court today said that the right of a woman to pray is a constitutional right and it does not depend on laws while hearing a bunch of petitions that challenge the traditional ban on the entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in the famous Sabarimala temple.

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Women who are of an age to menstruate were restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered to be a celibate.

At the entrance of temple there is a board with disclaimer which has even made it mandatory for women to provide their age proof before they are allowed to enter the temple.

Justice DY Chandrachud observed, “Your right to pray being a woman, is equal to that of a man and it is not dependent on a law to enable you to do that.”

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The Chief Justice of India while hearing the matter remarked, “On what basis you (temple authorities) deny the entry. It is against the Constitutional mandate. Once you open it for public, anybody can go.”

Last year in October, the apex court referred the issue to the Constitution bench, framing five “significant” questions, highlighting whether the ban amounts to discrimination against women and violates their Constitutional rights.

Today, Kerala minister K Surendran said that government is in favour of women’s entry inside the temple. Also, Several women activists have opposed the ban on the entry of women inside the temple.

Justice Nariman said regarding the age notification, it is “arbitrary” as it “leaves out the 9-year-old girl and 53-year-old woman who are menstruating.

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