Apex Court refers entry of women to Sabarimala to larger bench

The Supreme Court on Thursday kept the doors of Sabarimala temple open to women for now but decided to set up a larger bench to revisit its 2018 verdict from a wider perspective.

This bench would also look into issues of entry of women into mosques and entry of Parsi women who marry outside the community into its fire temple.

“There is yet another seminal issue as to the power of the court to determine if the constitutional court can interfere in such integral parts of the religion,” the five-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi ruled on Thursday in a majority 3:2 verdict.

The 2018 verdict had called the practice of barring women of a certain age group from entering the temple illegal and unconstitutional, triggering protests by traditionalists in the state. It had held that their exclusion on the basis of biological and physiological features denied women the right to be treated as equals.