Don't ban women's entry into temples : HC - Fusion - WeRIndia

Bombay HC directs government to not bar women entry to temples

Bombay HC directs government to not bar women entry to temples

Women should not be restricted to enter into a place of worship where men are allowed and barring their entry into a place of worship is against the provisions of the Act, says Bombay High Court.

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday observed that women too should be permitted into places of worship where men are permitted. The Court during the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer Nilima Vartak and activist Vidya Bal said that it is the duty of state government to protect the rights of women and if there is any concern about the sanctity of the deity, then the government must make a statement.

The petitioners filed this PIL challenging the banning of women’s entry into the renowned Shani Shingnapur Temple. According to temple rules women are not allowed to the platform of Shani Shingnapur temple where the rock idol of Shani is installed.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice D.H. Waghela and Justice M.S. Sonak stated that there is no rule on preventing the entry of women into any temple, and anyone imposing such rules could face a six-month jail term in Maharashtra. The Court mentioned this point according to the Maharashtra Hindu Place of Worship Act (Entry Authorisation). As per this provision no person should be banned from entering into a place of worship, failing which can lead to a six-month jail term.

The Court also directed the government to issue circulars and give extensive publicity to the law for sake of public interest. It asked the government to facilitate entry for women in the temple.

The petitioners who filed the PIL sought the entry for women into the sanctum sanctorum as well, stating that banning women to do so is illegal and a violation of their fundamental rights.

Shani Shingnapur temple has been in the news since the past few months on this issue. The village is also famous as a theft-free village, as no house in the village has doors. 

Image Credit: Photo by Deepak Kosta on Unsplash (Free for commercial use)

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