Sabarimala: Justice Indu Malhotra who recorded dissent in 2018, today delivered majority verdict
New Delhi, Nov 14: Justice Indu Malhotra who was the sole dissenting member of the Bench that delivered the original Sabarimala order was today part of the majority that referred the matter to a larger Bench.
Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, Justices A M Khanwilkar and Indu Malhotra were of the view that the matter is heard by the larger Bench. Justices R F Nariman and D Y Chandrachud have, however, recorded a dissenting verdict.
On September 28, 2018, the Supreme Court had allowed the entry of women of all ages into the Sabarimala Temple. The Bench was headed by the then Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra. Justice Indu Malhotra was the lone member on that Bench who wrote a dissenting verdict.
She had said issues raised have serious implications for all religions. Issues which have deep religious connotation should be tinkered with to maintain a secular atmosphere in the country.
The right to equality claimed by some conflicts with the right to follow a religious practice is again a fundamental right.
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 interfere.
What is essential practise in 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.
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 the freedom to believe and even practice even if their beliefs are illogical or irrational.