Justice Indu Malhotra’s Dissenting Verdict on Sabarimala
Justice Indu Malhotra said religious practices cannot solely be tested on the basis of Article 14.
The Supreme Court on Friday, 28 September, removed the ban on the entry of women into the Sabarimala temple in Kerala.
The verdict was passed by a five-judge Constitutional bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra.
The bench gave a 4:1 verdict saying banning women from entering the shrine is gender inequality, and such practices violate the rights of Hindu women.
Dissenting judge Justice Indu Malhotra, on the other hand, said issues of deep religious sentiments should not see the Court’s interference.
She added that the impact of the issues is larger than just Sabarimala, and that it will have an impact on other places of worship as well, she was quoted saying in her judgment by Bar and Bench.
Justice Indu Malhotra said religious practices cannot solely be tested on the basis of Article 14. Article 14 of the Constitution provides for equality before the law or equal protection within the territory of India.
"Balance needs to be struck between religious beliefs on one hand and the cherished principles of non-discrimination and equality laid down by the Constitution on the other hand," she said.
Respondents have made out a strong case for Ayyappa devotees being a separate denomination.Justice Indu Malhotra in her verdict
Justice Malhotra also said things that have deep religious connotation should not be tinkered with to maintain secular atmosphere in the country.
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