Parsis Defend Right to Bar Menstruating Women in Fire Temple
The Delhi Parsi Anjuman (DPA) has told the Delhi High Court that barring women from entering the Fire Temple during their menstruation is done with the purpose of protecting the consecrated fire.
It also added that the entry of such women of any religion including Zoroastrianism inside the Fire Temple is neither legally nor constitutionally permissible.
"The exclusion of Zoroastrian women during their period of menstruation for the purpose of protecting the consecrated fire is a core, essential and unalterable part/tenant of Zoroastrianism," the affidavit said.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Sanjiv Kumar seeking direction to declare that the prohibition on non-Parsi men and women, to enter the Sanctum Sanctorum of the holy Fire Temple at the DPA, is illegal and unconstitutional.
Countering his submission, the DPA in its reply claimed that the petition is misconceived and in ignorance of the essential beliefs, core tenets of Zoroastrianism, its structure and its legal status.
The DPA also told the court that entry into the Sanctum Sanctorum is restricted to an ordained priest and Parsi men are also not permitted to go beyond a certain demarcated area in the Temple.
It informed the court that the DPA is established and maintained under the Declaration of Trust since 16 September, 1959, and is privately funded and endowed.
The DPA also told the court that it is legally a society registered under the Societies Registration Act and requested to differentiate itself from the Sabarimala Temple case.
The DPA said the petition is nothing but an illegal attempt to enter the place of worship of another religion.
It requested the court to dismiss the plea stating that it has been filed on misconceived and baseless notions and presumptions.
The court has listed the matter for further hearing on 26 August.