Taking a tough stand, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the lawyers representing Sabarimala Temple trust, whether any tradition can override constitutional provisions.
The court made these observations in response to the submissions of the Sabarimala Temple Board. In February, the apex court had given the Board six weeks’ time to reply on the matter.
“What right does temple have to forbid women from entering any part of temple, please argue on bedrock of Constitution” the Supreme Court orally observed.
This is not the first time that the SC has questioned the ban. In January, too, the court had said that unless it’s a constitutional right, entry of women cannot be prohibited from the Sabarimala temple.
The SC bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose and Justice NV Ramana observed that the matter should be argued according to the Constitution.
The top court also said that mother is considered to be supreme in India, and ‘Mata’ has to be greeted first when she enters the room.
The court also asked whether women are allowed to pray in mosques alongside with men, or they are asked to present in a different room.
The court on February 11 said why the Board discriminates against women when Vedas, Upanishads do not discriminate between men and women.
The apex court had also appointed senior advocate Raju Ramachandran as amicus curiae for the case.
The issue first came to prominence when the apex court had questioned the ban on the entry of menstruating women in Sabarimala Ayyappa temple. The court was hearing a PIL filed by the Young Lawyers’ Association, seeking entry for all women in the hill shrine.
The rule was introduced by the Travancore Devasom Board that maintains the temple.
In 2015, the head of the temple’s board stated that women would be able to access the temple only after a body scanner is created to determine which women were pure enough to make the cut.