Supreme Court to deliver verdict on women entering Kerala's Sabarimala temple today

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A Constitution bench will decide on entry of women in the age group of 10 to 50 years in Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

The matter was referred to the larger bench by a three-judge bench headed by the chief justice, which has framed questions for the constitution bench to discuss.

The Supreme Court today is expected to pronounce order on entry of women in Kerala's Sabarimala temple.

The petition was filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association, challenging the custom of the temple to bar entry of women in the 10-50 age bracket (of menstruating age).The custom had been termed as "discriminatory" in their petition.

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Matters that related to fundamental rights contained in the Constitution of India are decided by specially empowered benches known as constitutional benches. In all other Ayyappa temples in Kerala, other parts of the country and overseas, women are allowed entry without any discrimination. According to them, banning the entry of women would be against the basic tenets of Hinduism.

The earlier UDF government's affidavit before the Supreme Court had supported the temple's tradition that the deity's form is that of a Naisthak Bramhachari who observes celibacy and therefore, young women should not worship in the temple. It said that this can not be done under the Constitution.

Is this prohibition by the religious body valid under the purview of religious freedom under Article 25 of the Constitution? This violates the rights of the women. We understand the seriousness of issue.

Welcoming the apex court's move, women rights organisations hoped that the Constitution bench would give women equal rights. "Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations...", the apex court had said challenging the ban. I am hoping that tomorrow also the entry of women in Sabarimala would be positive. "I am sure the judgement will also be very positive and landmark", activist Brinda Adige was quoted as saying by Indian Today. The court will be going great injustice to millions of devotees if it interferes and will set a precedent which will seriously affect other religious institutions, the board asked.

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