The Supreme Court, while hearing the contentious issue relating to the ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Kerala’s historic Sabarimala temple, expressed its displeasure with Kerala government for changing their stance frequently on the issue.
A five-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra and comprising of justices R F Nariman, A M Khanwilkar, D Y Chandrachud and Indu Malhotra is hearing the matter.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra during the hearing said that there is no principle of private temple in the country. “Temple is not a private property, it is a public property,” he said.
CJI also said if a man is allowed to enter the temple then a woman should also be allowed. “Once you open the temple, then anyone can go to it.”
Justice DY Chandrachud said that under Article 25 of the Constitution, all citizens are free to practice or spread any religion. He said that the right to pray as a woman is not under any law, it is a constitutional right.
He said that a woman is also a creation of God then “why discriminate in employment and worship? Can we stop 70-year-old women from worshipping?”
Meanwhile, the Kerala government has said it supports the entry of women of all ages. However, Chief Justice Dipak Misra said that the state government has changed its stance for the fourth time.
Sabarimala, the Hindu pilgrimage centre in Kerala’s Pathanamthitta district, has been in the news for its rules barring entry to women.
While in 2015 the Kerala government supported the entry of women in the temple, in 2017 it reversed its stance.
Also read: Kerala: Woman detained for attempting to enter Sabarimala Temple complex