News Delhi, July 18: During the hearing on the issue related to the ban on entry of women between 10 and 50 years of age in Sabarimala temple, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that it is against the 'Constitutional mandate' to deny entry to anyone.
"On what basis you (temple authorities) deny the entry. It is against the Constitutional mandate. Once you open it for public, anybody can go," observed the Chief Justice of India (CJI), as per an ANI report.
"Your (intervener) right to pray being a woman, is equal to that of a man and it is not dependent on a law to enable you to do that," observed Justice DY Chandrachud.
State Govt's stand is that women should be allowed to offer prayers in Sabarimala Temple. We've filed an affidavit in SC explaining our stand. Now it has to take a decision. We're bound to obey its verdict. Devaswom board now have same opinion as govt: K Surendran,Kerala Minister pic.twitter.com/ecI7eJDSGp— ANI (@ANI) July 18, 2018
The Supreme Court on Tuesday commenced its hearing on the contentious issue. The apex court had on October 13 last year referred the issue to a Constitution bench after framing five "significant" questions including whether the practice of banning entry of women in the temple amounted to discrimination and violated their fundamental rights under the Constitution.
On November 7, 2016, the Kerala government had informed the apex court that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the historic Sabarimala temple. Initially, the LDF government had taken a progressive stand in 2007 by favouring women's entry into the temple, which was overturned by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) dispensation later.
The management of the Sabarimala temple, located in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala, had earlier told the apex court that the ban on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years was because they cannot maintain "purity" on account of menstruation.
OneIndia News with PTI inputs