The Supreme Court will hear a batch of pleas on Monday, concerning the restriction on women of all ages to enter Kerala's Sabarimala temple and their Right to Pray, along with other contentious issues of alleged discrimination against Muslim and Parsi women.
A nine-judge Constitution bench will consider the issues related to the entry of Muslim women into mosques, female genital mutilation in the Dawoodi Bohra Muslim community and barring of Parsi women, married to non-Parsi men, in the holy fireplace at an agiary.
Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde had said on January 28, that the court will hear and examine the scope of judicial review on the point of religious faith and women's rights into the Sabarimala case.
Earlier, the CJI had settled a 10-day period for concluding the hearing on the petition seeking women's entry into Sabarimala temple, mosques, and Parsi Agiyari.
The Supreme Court had on January 13 cleared that it will only hear the questions referred to SC's review order passed in November 2019 in the Sabarimala temple case, which allowed women and girls of all age groups to visit the shrine in Kerala.
The apex court had observed that the entry of women into places of worship is not the only issue in the Sabarimala temple but also includes disallowing Muslim and Parsi women to enter religious practice.
On Monday, the court is hearing a part of petitions seeking reconsideration of its September 2018 judgment that allowed menstruating women to worship in the Sabarimala temple.
In a landmark 4:1 ruling, the Supreme Court had set apart the decades-old restrictions on the entry of women of menstruating age inside the temple.
On September 28, 2018, the Supreme Court lifted the ban on the entry of women belonging to all age groups in the Sabarimala temple. This sparked off huge protests across Kerala. The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) which manages the shrine, argued that the SC could not interfere with a century-old belief as the ban was based on the deity's celibate identity.
While the Kerala government supported the verdict, it has not yet allowed women to enter the shrine. Eventually, many petitions were filed seeking review of the apex court's order challenging the court's authority to intervene in religious matters.
(With inputs from ANI)