Plea for entry of women into mosques: SC asks Centre to reply by Nov 5

The Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response by November 5 on a plea seeking entry of Muslim women in mosques across the country and claiming that such restriction was “unconstitutional” and violative of fundamental rights to life, equality and gender justice.

A bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi took note of the fact that it had issued notices to parties, which included Union Ministries of Women and Child Welfare and Law and Justice and Minority Affairs and the National Commission for Women, in April and three respondents (parties) have not been served with its notices.

The bench, also comprising justices S A Bobde and S A Nazeer, ordered that the notices along with copies of the petition be served on the Maharashtra State Board of Wakf, Central Wakf Council and All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

The bench then fixed the plea filed by Yasmeen Zuber Ahmad Peerzade and Zuber Ahmad Nazir Ahmad Peerzade, a Pune-based couple, for further hearing on November 5.  The Central Government, represented by lawyer Rajat Nair, on Friday accepted the notice. The plea sought issuance of a direction to the Government authorities and Muslim bodies to allow entry of Muslim women into mosques to offer namaz there.