Sabarimala temple case: Supreme Court refers matter to Constitution bench

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Earlier, the bench of Justice Dipak Misra, Justice R. Banumathi and Justice Ashok Bhushan had reserved its verdict on the plea as it involved important questions of law and the interpretation of the constitution.

The court raised six questions on the issue to be considered by the Constitution bench.

Despite this, Sabarimala remains different from many traditional temples as it never observed caste distinctions, even as most temples in Kerala restricted entry to those belonging to the four varnas of Vedic Hinduism.

The top court said the constitution bench will also deal with the question of whether this practice amounts to discrimination against the women, PTI reported.

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Challenging the ban on women's entry in Sabarimala temple in Kerala, the Supreme court will deliver is verdict on the petitions on Friday.

Another women's rights activist is also hoping that the SC rules in the favour of the women as India is a secular country.

The management of the temple had stated that ban on entry of women was because they can not maintain "purity" on account of menstruation.

"I hope it [SC] will allow women to enter the temple".

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In 1991, a Kerala High Court Bench comprising of Justices K. Paripoornan and KB Marar had held that the restriction on young women by the Travancore Devaswom Board is not violative of the Constitution and nor was it violative of the provisions of the Hindu Places of Public Worship (Authorisation of Entry) Act, 1965. "Every right needs to be balanced but every balancing has its own limitations..."

This assumes significance as after coming to power, the CPM-led Left Front government has favoured the entry of women of all ages into Sabarimala temple - a position that is divergent from the one earlier taken by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) government.

The UDF government had taken a view that they were against the entry of women of the age group of 10-to-50 years as such a practice was being followed since time immemorial.

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