The issue of banning entry of women at Kerala’s historic Sabarimala temple was referred to the constitution bench by the Supreme Court on Friday. A three-judge bench led by the chief justice, Dipak Misra framed many questions to look at by the constitution bench including if the temple can curb women’s entry.
The SC also asked a question on if restricting the entry of women into the temple was violative of their rights. The constitution bench will also handle the matter whether this practice amounted to prejudice against the women.
On February 20, the court had reserved its order on whether to refer the case to a constitution bench.
The management of the Sabarimala temple had earlier told SC that the ban on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years was because they cannot uphold “purity” owing to menstruation. The court is hearing an appeal challenging the practice of banning entrance of such women in the temple.
Last year, the Kerala government informed SC that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the historic temple.
The LDF government had taken a progressive stand in 2007 by favouring women’s entry, but the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) put it again saying the practice was being followed since time immemorial.