Supreme Court lifts ban on entry of women to Sabarimala Temple

NEW DELHI: A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra on Friday pronounced its verdict on entry of women into the Sabarimala temple of Kerala. While reading out the verdict, Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra said, “The practice of barring women in age group of 10-50 to go inside the temple is violative of constitutional principles.”

Verdict is disappointing but since the highest court of the country ruled we are duty-bound to accept it, says Sabarimala head priest Tantri Rajeevaru Kandarar. Women said to be of menstrual age are restricted from entering the temple as its presiding deity, Lord Ayyappa, is considered to be a celibate.

In 2006, Indian Young Lawyers Association filed a petition in the Supreme Court opposing this practice and sought the lifting of the ban. Justice Indu Malhotra–the lone woman judge on the five-judge Constituion Bench–delivered a dissenting verdict. The other judges on the bench are Justices R.F. Nariman, A.M. Khanwilkar and D.Y. Chandrachud.

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