New Delhi: Questioning age restrictions on the entry of women at the Sabarimala Temple in Kerala, the Supreme Court observed that “what applies to a man applies to a woman” as well and said that a “woman’s right to pray was not dependent on any law but it is a Constitutional right”.
The observations were made by a five-judge Constitution Bench while hearing a petition challenging Rule 3(b) of the Kerala Hindu Places of Public Worship Rules, 1965 under which the restrictions have been put in place on entry to the famous hill If a man can enter, then so can a woman, says SC bench shrine dedicated to Lord Ayyappa.
Chief Justice Dipak Misra heads the bench.
CJI Misra said, “If a man who is not a trustee or poojari can enter, then a woman can also.” He added that the only grounds on which entry can be prohibited are health, morality and public order.
The CJI also pointed out that customs which are integral to a religion are protected. “If it’s a place of public worship, you can go…she can go,” he added pointing at some lawyers.