New Delhi, Aug 1: The Kerala government has said that the custom of barring women in the age group of 10-50 years into the Sabarimala temple is not permissible constitutionally. The government also submitted that Sabarimala Ayyappa temple cannot claim to be a distinct denomination to claim a custom which bars the entry of women in the above mentioned age group.
The court has reserved orders in the case. The government also said that the celibate status cannot be a ground to bar women's entry into the temple. The Kerala government also cited the example of Shankaracharya.
The court had last week said that irrespective of the submissions that Lord Ayyappa of the Sabarimala temple has "celibate character", it cannot remain "oblivious" of the fact that the entry of women in the age group of 10-50 was barred on "physiological ground" of menstruation.
The bench, which was hearing pleas of Indian Young Lawyers Association and others challenging the ban, asked whether the practice at Sabarimala of barring women of the age group of 10-50 years from entering the temple was an "essential and integral" practice of a religious denomination.