SC refers PIL on women's entry to Sabarimala to larger bench

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New Delhi, Mar 7 (UNI) The Supreme Court today referred a PIL challenging ban on the entry of women in the Sabarimala temple in Kerala to a larger bench of the court.

A bench, comprising Justices S P Sinha and V S Sirpurkar referred the petition, filed by the Indian Young Lawyers Association and others, seeking to lift the ban on the entry of women in the temple.

Mr R P Gupta, counsel for the petitioner, contended before the court that there can be no gender bias so far as right to worship is concerned and such a ban is totally illegal and unconstitutional and it must go.

The temple Devasom Board, which controls the affairs of the temple, however, had justified the ban on the grounds that Lord Ayyappa was a bachelor and women in the age group of ten to 50 were not allowed to enter the temple.

Once a women entered the place where the idol of Lord Ayyappa is installed the entire temple was re-purified.

The State of Kerala has taken a stand that it has no objection if women are allowed access to the temple.

According to the petitioners, such a ban violates the freedom to religion of women.

UNI AKS/SC LPB MIR KP1315

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