The Supreme Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing on a petition seeking a direction to declare the practice of prohibition on the entry of Muslim women in the mosques as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
A bench headed by Justice S A Bobde adjourned the matter for ten days after the parties in the case sought four weeks’ time to file their responses on the petition.
The apex court had in the last hearing sought Centre’s response on a plea seeking entry of Muslim women in mosques across the country and claiming that such restriction was “unconstitutional” and violative of fundamental rights to life, equality and gender justice.
The notices were also issued to union ministries of Women and Child Welfare,National Commission for Women (NCW), Central Waqf Council, and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB)
The plea, which was filed by a Pune-based Muslim couple, sought the prohibition on entry of Muslim women into mosques to be uplifted.
At present, women are allowed to offer prayers at mosques under Jamaat-e-Islami and Mujahid denominations, while they are barred from mosques under the predominant Sunni faction, the petition stated.
“A mosque is not an individual person. There are no records stating that the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad had opposed women entering mosques and offering prayers…Like men, women also have the constitutional rights to offer worship according to their belief,” the petition submitted.
The court had then said it will hear the plea only because of its judgment in Sabarimala temple.
Therefore, citing the Sabarimala judgement, the petitioner stated, “This Court in the case of Sabarimala held that “religion cannot be used as cover to deny rights of worship to women and it is also against human dignity. Prohibition on women is due to non-religious reasons and it is a grim shadow of discrimination going on for centuries.”
On September 28 last year, the Supreme Court had lifted the ban on the entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years into the premises of Lord Ayyappa temple in Sabarimala, Kerala.
The order on the petition seeking review of the court’s order on Sabrimala will come before it November 17.