Menstruation is a taboo in India, and traditionally, many Hindu temples prevent menstruating women from entering the temple premises.
The temple bans entry of women between age of 10-50 from entering the shrine as it is said to be the menstrual age.
It is being asked: Can this practice in religious institutions be allowed to stop women?
The temple, situated in Pathanamthitta district, restricts women aged between 10 and 50 from taking the pilgrimage to Sabarimala temple. It was expected that the apex court is likely to announce the verdict today on whether women can enter the Sabarimala Temple.
The court was hearing a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) challenging the ban on women's entry into the sanctum sanctorum of the famed Sabarimala temple. It said Article 25 of the constitution gives the temple the right to manage its own affairs.
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A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra framed five "significant" questions to be dealt with by the constitution bench, including whether the practice of banning entry of women in the temple amounted to discrimination and violated their fundamental rights under the constitution. The court, in January 2016, had questioned the ban and claimed that it couldn't be allowed under the Constitution.
However, the Kerala government on November 7 had informed the Supreme Court that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the temple.
The larger Bench will choose whether the restriction on ladies to enter the sanctuary qualifies as a "essential religious practice" of the Hindu faith over which the summit court has no ward.
He said that there was nothing personal in his comment adding that both safety and rituals are equally important. Mr Prayar welcomed the SC decision to leave the issue before the Constitutional bench of the SC. The temple's rules are ultra vires the state Act which allows equal access to women to all public places such as temples.