New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday will pronounce its verdict in the Sabrimala case which pertains to a ban on entry for women aged between 10 and 50 inside the much-revered temple complex in Kerala.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra had reserved its order in the case in August on pleas which challenged the age-old practice of restricting women from entering the Lord Ayyappa temple. A month earlier, the apex court had said a woman has as much right to enter any temple as a man. " "There is no principle of private temple in the country. Temple is not a private property, it is a public property. In such a case, if a person is allowed to enter the public property, then the woman should also be allowed to enter. Once you open the temple, then anyone can go to it," CJI Misra had said.
Justice DV Chandrachud had also highlighted that a woman cannot be stopped entry simply because of their gender. "Your right as a woman to pray is equal to that of a man and is not dependent on a law to enable you to do that. If the age prescribed by notification has no basis on menstruation, then it is arbitrary on the face of it since age cannot be a criterion for restricting right to worship," he had said.
While women have largely been demanding the removal of the archaic rule that prohibits their entry into the temple, the Travancore Devaswom Board has said that tradition and customs cannot be broken.