The apex court also raised six questions on the issue of women's entry ban to be considered by the constitutional bench. Photograph: (DNA)
The Supreme Court today (October 13) referred the matter pertaining to a ban on the entry of women into Kerala's Sabarimala temple to a constitution bench.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra also framed six questions to dealt with by the constitution bench. The questions included whether the historic temple can restrict women's entry and whether the restriction of entry of women into the temple was violative of their rights under the Constitution.
The top court said the constitution bench will also deal with the question of whether this practice amounts to discrimination against the women, PTI reported.
On February 20, the court had reserved its order on whether to refer the matter to a constitutional bench.
The Supreme Court is hearing a plea challenging the practice of the ban on entry of women by the management of the Sabarimala temple.
The management of the Sabarimala temple, located on a hilltop in the Western Ghats of Pathanamthitta district, had earlier told the top court that the ban on entry of women aged between 10 and 50 years was because they cannot maintain "purity" on account of menstruation.
However, the Kerala government on November 7 had informed the Supreme Court that it favoured the entry of women of all age groups in the temple.
In 2007, the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government had taken a progressive stand by favouring women's entry into the temple, which was later overturned by the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) dispensation.
The UDF government had taken a view that they were against the entry of women of the age group of 10-to-50 years as such a practice was being followed since time immemorial.