Lone woman judge on SC Bench upholds ban on women entry into Sabarimala
New Delhi, Sep 28: In a 4:1 verdict the Supreme Court lifted a century old ban on the women in the age group of 10 and 50 into the Sabarimala Temple. While Chief Justice Dipak Misra, Justices A M Khanwilkar, R Nariman and D Chandrachud gave a concurrent finding, the lone woman judge on the Bench Justice Indu Malhotra had a dissenting view.
In her verdict she said that issues raised have serious implications for all religions. She said that issues which have deep religious connotation should be tinkered with to maintain a secular atmosphere in the country.
Justice Indu Malhotra further said that the right to equality claimed by some conflicts with the right to follow a religious practise, is again a fundamental right. In her judgment she rejected the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple.
Justice Malhotra said that India has diverse religious practises and constitutional morality would allow anyone to profess and practise a religion she or he believes in and it is not for the court to interfere in such religious practises, even it may appear discriminatory.
The present judgment will not be limited to Sabarimala alone and it will have wide ramifications. Issues of deep religious sentiments should not interfered into she said.
She further said that what is essential practise in a religion is for the religion to decide. It is a matter of personal faith and India is a land of diverse faiths.
Constitutional morality in a pluralistic society gives freedom to practise even irrational customs.
She also added that judges cannot intervene and decide on whether a practice is violative of fundamental rights or not. Personal views of judges do not matter. A religious denomination has freedom to believe and even practice even if their beliefs are illogical or irrational, Justice Malhotra also added.