‘Women can enter into temples’, says Mumbai High Court

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said that there was no law that prevented women from entering into places of worship.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice D.H.Waghela and Justice M.S.Sonak was hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition for the entry of women in the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple. The Bench said that there is no law that prevents entry of women in any place. If you allow men, then you should allow women also. If a male can go and pray before the deity, why not women? It is the State Government’s duty to protect the rights of women’, it said.

The Division Bench said if temple authorities imposed restrictions on someone’s entry in a religious place, they could face six months’ imprisonment as per the Maharashtra law.

The Bench was dealing with a PIL filed by activist Vidya Bal and advocate Nilima Varta seeking the entry of women is not just the temple but also the sanctum sanctorum of the Shani Shingnapur temple. The petition claims that the prohibition is arbitrary, illegal and violative of the fundamental rights of a citizen.

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