Supreme Court allows women of all ages to enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple

The Supreme Court on Friday has put an end to centuries-old tradition and opened doors of Sabarimala Temple to women of all age groups.

It says, women, irrespective of age, can enter Kerala’s Sabarimala temple

A five-judge Constitution bench, headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, said that the provision in the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Rules, 1965, which authorised the restriction, violated the right of Hindu women to practice religion. It also said that patriarchy in religion cannot be allowed to trump the right to pray.

The bench also comprised Justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra. Nariman, Khanwilkar and Chandrachud coincided with Misra, while Malhotra presented her dissenting opinion.

“Notions of rationality cannot be invoked in matters of religion,” Justice Indu Malhotra said.

“What constitutes indispensable religious practice is for the religious community to decide, not for the court. India is a diverse country. Constitutional morality would allow all to practice their beliefs. The court should not interfere unless if there are issues of social evil like ‘Sati’.”

However, the judgment was passed with 4:1 majority.