NEW DELHI: Upturning an archaic rule in a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court Friday paved the way for the entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala Temple. It was violative of their fundamental rights and constitutional guarantees, said a five-judge constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra while opening the temple doors for women between 10 and 50 years of age.
The judgment was passed in 4:1 ratio, with Justice Indu Malhotra – the lone women judge on the bench – presenting a dissenting verdict while Justices R F Nariman and D Y Chandrachud concurring with the CJI and Justice A M Khanwilkar.
Here are the top quotes by the judges in the historic Sabarimala verdict:
1. Banning entry of women to shrine is gender discrimination: CJI
2. Exclusion of women because she menstruates is utterly unconstitutional: Justice Chandrachud.
3. Religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women. It is also against human dignity: Justice Chandrachud
4. Devotion cannot be subjected to discrimination. The patriarchal notion cannot be allowed to trump equality in devotion: CJI
5. Religion is a way of life basically to link life with divinity. Banning entry of women to shrine is gender discrimination: CJI
6. Sabarimala Temple practice violates the rights of Hindu women: CJI
7. Devotees of Lord Ayyappa do not form separate religious denominations: Justice Chandrachud.
8. Religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women. It is also against human dignity: Chnadrachud
9. Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries: Justice Chandrachud.
10. Issues which have deep religious connotation should not be tinkered with to maintain the secular atmosphere in the country. It is not for courts to determine which religious practices are to be struck down except in issues of social evil like 'Sati': Justice Indu Malhotra.