Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Friday
refused to direct trustees of an Agiyari (Parsi fire temple)
in Valsad to allow a Parsi woman, who has married outside her community, to enter the holy place to perform rituals.
A three-Judge bench headed by Justice Jayant Patel
dismissed the petition filed in 2010 by one Goolrokh
Contractor seeking permission to worship in the Agiyari, and
attend, in future, the last rites of her aging parents as per
the community customs.
Contractor, a resident of Valsad, had married a non-
Parsi in 1991 and came to be known as Goolrokh Gupta.
After marriage, the Zoroastrian woman was denied entry into fire temples as well as participation in Parsi rituals.
She had approached the High Court after raising the
issue in the community. Through the petition she had sought
direction to the trustees of the fire temple at Mota Pariwad
in Valsad as well as to other religious leaders and members of the community to allow her at the Agiyari. Her father is one of the trustees of the Agiyari and had opposed her petition.
As per the Parsi community tradition, women who marry
non-Parsis are barred from entering Parsi religious places and
prohibited from performing certain rituals.
The Bench, also comprising Justices Akil Kureshi and
Justice Rashmin Chhaya, was hearing the matter on aspect
whether the petitioner, by virtue of marriage to a non-Parsi
man, ceases to be a Parsi. If no, then were the trustees of the Agiyari justified in refusing the petitioner her rights of
being a natural Parsi and whether the court, under Article 226 of the Constitution, can direct to trustees of Agiyari to grant reliefs as sought by the petitioner.